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Full text of "Exemption of certain projects from land-limitation provisions of Federal reclamation laws : hearings before a subcommittee of the Committee on Public Lands, United States Senate, Eightieth Congress, first session on S.912, a bill exempting certain projects from the land-limitation provisions of the Federal reclamation laws and repealing all inconsistent provisions of prior acts. May 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 28, and June 2, 1947"

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XEMPTION OF CERTAIN PROJECTS FROM 
LAND-LIMITATION PROVISIONS OF 
FEDERAL RECLAMATION LAWS 



HEARINGS 

BEFORE A 

SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC LANDS 

UNITED STATES SENATE 

EIGHTIETH CONGRESS 

FIBST SESSION 
ON 

S.912 

A BILL EXEMPTING CERTAIN PROJECTS PROM 

THE LAND-LIMATATTON PROVISIONS OF THE 

FEDERAL RECLAMATION LAWS AND 

REPEALING ALL INCONSISTENT 

PROVISIONS OF PRIOR ACTS 



MAY 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 28 
AND JUNE 2, 1947 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Public Lands 




EXEMPTION OF CERTAIN PROJECTS FROM 

LAND-LIMITATION PROVISIONS OF 

FEDERAL RECLAMATION LAWS 



HEARINGS 

BEFORE A 

SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC LANDS 

UNITED STATES SENATE 

EIGHTIETH CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 

ON 

S. 912 

A BILL EXEMPTING CERTAIN PROJECTS FROM 

THE LAND-LIMITATION PROVISIONS OF THE 

FEDERAL RECLAMATION LAWS AND 

REPEALING ALL INCONSISTENT 

PROVISIONS OF PRIOR ACTS 



MAY 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 28 
AND JUNE 2, 1947 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Public Lands 




I c-i o 



UNITED STATES 
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
62463 WASHINGTON : 1947 




'*■ 



W1 



0. S. SUPER4KTEN0ENT Of DOCi. 

347 



COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC LANDS 



HUGH BUTLER 
EUGENE D. MILLIKIN, Colorado 
EDWARD V. ROBERTSON, Wyoming 
GUY CORDON, Oregon 
HENRY C. DWORSHAK, Idaho 
ZALES N. ECTON, Montana 
GEORGE W. MALONE, Nevada 
ARTHUR V. WATKINS, Utah 

Hugh R. Brown, Chief Clerk 
N. D. McSherry, Assistant Chief Clerk 



Nebraska, Chairman 
CARL A. HATCH, New Mexico 
JOSEPH C. O'MAHONEY, Wyoming 
JAMES E. MURRAY, Montana 
SHERIDAN DOWNEY, California 
ERNEST W. McFARLAND, Arizona 



Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation 

EUGENE D. MILLIKIN, Colorado, Chairman 
ZALES N. ECTON, Montana CARL A. HATCH, New Mexico 

ARTHUR V. 

II 



WATKINS, Utah 



JOSEPH C. O'MAHONEY, Wyoming 



CONTENTS 



Statement of— Paga 

Ball, Dr. Carlton R., legislative committee, council for social action, 

Congregational Christian Churches 533 

Barnes, Harry, chief engineer, Madera irrigation district 782, 810 

Bashore, Harry W 1297 

Boke, Richard L., regional director, Bureau of Reclamation (region 2) _ 360, 

628, 1049, 1071 
Brady, John F., member of board of directors of Conejos water con- 
servancy district, Manassa, Colo 197 

Breitenstein, Jean S., attorney for Conejos water conservancy district, 

Denver, Colo 429 

Bristol, Ralph S., regional operation and maintenance supervisor, 

Bureau of Reclamation, Amarillo, Tex 913 

Bulcke, Germain, International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's 

Union, CIO, San Francisco, Calif 331 

Carter, Oliver J., State senator, Fifth District, California 342 

Connally , Tom, United States Senator, State of Texas 773 

Corlett, George M., water users in water district No. 20 557 

Cramer, A. L., Elsa, Hidalgo County, Tex 748 

Crocheron, B. H., Director of Agricultural Extension, Universitv of 

California , ____ 1305 

Curran, Roland, secretary-manager, Central Vallev Project Ass'n., 

Bakersfield, Calif 1 1310 

Dancy, Oscar C, county judge, Cameron County, Tex 763 

Davis, O. M., executive secretary, Central Valley Project Conference, 

Kerman, Calif 267, 288 

Davison, Mrs. Irene, Rural Life Conference, Bay Area, Jewish Forum, 

Berkeley, Calif 529 

Deuel, J. J., director, public utilities department, California Farm Bu- 
reau, Kern County, Calif * 157 

Downey, Sheridan, United States Senator, State of California 128, 

939, 1190 

Eck, Charles, Hamilton, Tex 1188 

Elliott, Alfred, United States Representative, State of California 1154 

Ely, Northcutt, attorney, Water Project Authority, State of Cali- 
fornia '_ 1 243 

Fix, Clifford E., chief counsel, Bureau of Reclamation 1270 

Gardner, William I., regional geologist, Bureau of Reclamation, region 

2, Sacramento, Calif 409 

Gibbons, Rev. William J., associate editor, America; board of directors, 

National Catholic Rural Life Conference 496 

Harding, S. T., consulting engineer of the Tulare Lake basin water stor- 
age district, California 59 

Harris, Ronald, attorney for the Irrigation District Association of 

California, Fresno, Calif 674, 1261 

Hermann, M. C, quartermaster-adjutant, California Department of 

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, San Francisco 143 

Hines, Lewis G., national legislative representative of the American 

Federation of Labor 574 

Horton, Harry W., attorney, Imperial Irrigation District, El Centro, 

Calif 1262 

Hyatt, Edward, state engineer and ex officio executive officer, Water 

Project Authority of the State of California 8 

Johnson, Edwin C, United States Senator, State of Colorado 189 

Johnstone, Paul H., regional economist, Bureau of Reclamation, San 

Francisco 831, 860, 943 

Kaupke, Charles L., water master and engineer, Kings River Water 

Association of California 173 

Kehler, Leto, San Luis Valley, Colo 569 

ni 



IV CONTENTS 

Statement of — Continued Page 

Kerr, S. A., regional planning engineer, Bureau of Reclamation, 

Department of the Interior 360, 965 

Knowiand, William F., United States Senator, State of California ' 408 

Krug, J. A., Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D. C 991, 1026 

Locke, William, newspaper publisher and editor, Dinuba, Calif 587 

Luhman, John E., Weed Patch Grange No. 571; Kern County Pomona 

Grange No. 26, Bakersfield, Calif 325 

Luther, John M., manager, Central Valleys Flood Control Association, 

Sacramento, Calif 185 

Marsh, Benjamin C, executive secretary, People's Lobby t Inc 1190 

Matt os, Joseph E., Jr., State secretary, Western Cooperative Dairy- 
men's Union of California __ 288 

Meyers, Harry C, president, Conejos Water Conservancy District, 

Antonito, Colo J 194 

Myrick, John C, attorney, Harlingen, Tex 723 

Nelson, Wesley R., regional director, region 5, Bureau of Reclama- 
tion 1 927 

Paterson, Chat, national legislative representative, American Veterans' 

Committee 482 

Poston, Robert R., legal representative, national legislative committee, 

the American Legion 495 

Reed, James A., member of board of directors of Conejos Water Con- 
servancy District, Sanford, Colo 198 

Rice, Millard, legislative representative. Disabled American Veterans. 493 

Sanders, J. T., legislative counsel of the National Grange 458 

Scott, John R., assistant legislative director, national legislative 

service, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States 478 

Sehlmeyer, George, master, California State Grange, Sacramento, 

Calif 265,355 

Shelley, John F., president, San Francisco Labor Council, Visalia, 

Calif 1184 

Smith, Russell, legislative secretary, National Farmers Union 615 

Smith, W. Raymond, manager, Cameron County Water Improve- 
ment District No. 2, San Benito, Tex 755 

Stewart, Boyd, member of State committee, Production and Market- 
ing Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, 

Olema, Calif 133, 978, 1136 

Stoner, David S., assistant head of branch operations and plans, 

Bureau of Reclamation, California 629, 653, 676, 686, 811 

Straus, Michael W., Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation, Depart- 
ment of the Interior 84 

Sturrock, J. E., general manager, Texas Water Conservation Associa- 
tion 715 

Swett, Frank, member, California Farm Bureau, Alhambra Valley, 

Calif 280 

Talbott, C. A., California farmer, Ceres, Calif 304 

Taylor, Glen H., United States Senator, State of Idaho ___ 680 

Warne, William E., Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation, 

Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C 200, 246 

Williams, Claude A., attorney, Washington Loan and Trust Building, 

Washington, D. C. (representing Roger Lacy) 758 

Wynn, Vernon, Visalia, Calif 1188 



EXEMPTION OF CEBTAIN PEOJECTS FROM LAND-LIMI- 
TATION PROVISIONS OF FEDERAL RECLAMATION LAWS 



MONDAY, MAY 5, 1947 

United States Senate, 
Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation 

of the Committee on Public Lands, 

Washington, D. C. 

The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a. m. with Senator 
Zales N. Ecton presiding. 

President : Senators Ecton, Watkins. Butler, Downey, and McFar- 
land. 

There were present before the subcommittee: Michael W. Straus, 
Commissioner of Reclamation, Department of the Interior; G. W. 
Lineweaver, Director, Branch of Operations and Maintenance, Bureau 
of Reclamation, Department of the Interior; Representative George 
Miller of California ; Edward Hyatt, executive officer, Water Project 
Authority of the State of California ; S. T. Harding, consulting en- 
gineer of the Tulare Lake Basin water storage district. 

Senator Ecton. The committee will come to order. The Colorado 
delegation is here to testify on S. 912 and if it is agreeable with the rest 
of the committee, we will try to reserve next Thursday morning to 
hear their testimony. 

So, if you will notifv them, Mr. Breitenstein, to that effect, we will 
hear your delegation Thursday morning. 

Mr. Jean S. Breitenstein. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will 
notify them. We will be here at that time. 

Senator Ecton. We have for our consideration today S. 912. 

(S. 912 is as follows:) 

[S. 912, 80th Cong., 1st sess.] 

A BILL Exempting certain projects from the land-limitation provisions of the Federal 
reclamation laws and repealing all inconsistent provisions of prior Acts 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States 
of America in Congress assembled, That, as used in this Act — 

(a) The term "Federal reclamation laws" shall mean the Reclamation Act of 
June 17, 1902, and all Acts amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto ; 

(b) The term "public lands" shall mean all lands of the United States subject, 
or which may be made subject, to entry and settlement pursuant to the public-land 
laws of the United States ; 

(e) The term "private lands" shall mean all lands other than public lands as 
defined herein. 

(d) The term "land-limitation provisions" shall mean all provisions of the 
Federal reclamation laws (1) limiting irrigable private lands held by any one 
owner; (2) relating to appraisal and sale of private lands held in excess of such 
limitations; (3) denying, prohibiting, or restricting the delivery of water to 
private lands held in excess of such limitations or the right to receive water for 
such lands; and (4) relating to residence and occupancy. 



2 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Sec. 2. The land-limitation provisions shall not apply to any private lands, to 
the delivery of project water supply to private lands, or to any contract relating 
to project water supply for private lands, susceptible of irrigation with any 
water supplied from or made available by any project hereinafter named. No 
benefit of the Federal reclamation laws shall ever be denied because of the size 
of any holding of private lands within or served by any of the hereinafter-named 
projects. 

Sec. 3. This Act shall apply to the following supplemental water projects : 

San Luis V* lley project, Colorado. 

Valley Gravity Canal project, Texas. 

Central Val ey projects, California. 

Sec. 4. Any and all Acts and parts of Acts in conflict herewith are hereby re- 
pealed : Provided, That any and all Acts and parts of prior Acts not in conflict 
with the provisions of this Act shall remain in full force and effect. 

Senator Ecton. According to the agreement, as I understand it, we 
have allowed 3 days for the proponents of this bill and 3 days for the 
opponents. In view of the fact that you are the main author and the 
first author whose name appears on this bill, I will be glad to call on 
you first, Senator Downey. 

Senator Downey. Well, Senator Ecton, first let me make this ex- 
planation of the bill. 

As the chairman knows, it affects three projects, one in California, 
one in Colorado and one in Texas. And the bill was introduced by 
Mr. Knowland, and myself, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Millikin of Colorado 
and Mr. Connally and Mr. O'Daniel, of Texas. 

Now, I believe the testimony will show that the three areas embraced 
by this bill are all in private ownership, comprising no public lands, 
and that large areas, in all three projects, are already irrigated. So, 
we may describe each of the projects as providing a supplemental water 
supply for the irrigation of private lands. 

Now, section 2, which is the heart of the bill, reads as follows : 

Sec. 2. The land-limitation provisions shall not apply to any private lands, to 
the delivery of project water supply to private lands, or to any contract relating 
to project water supply for private lands, susceptible of irrigation with any water 
supplied from or made available by any project hereinafter named. No benefit 
of the Federal reclamation laws shall ever be denied because of the size of any 
holding of private lands within or served by any of the hereinafter named 
projects. 

Sec. 3. This Act shall apply to the following supplemental water projects : 

San Luis Valley project, Colorado. 

Valley Gravity Canal project, Texas. 

Central Valley projects, California. 

Now, for the information of the chairman and the Senator from 
Utah, I want to make a brief statement. 

The issue of applying the excess-land limitation laws to the Cen- 
tral Valley project has been actively before the State of California 
and Congress for several years. It has been my belief and contention, 
and I am of the opinion it is the belief and contention of almost every 
public official who has dealt with this problem, that it is not possible 
practicably to enforce any acreage limitations in the Central Valley. 

A major reason for that belief is that the whole great area of the 
Central Valley where there are now 3,500,000 acres under irrigation 
is underlaid with a great underground reservoir and the present mirac- 
ulous and fertile development of the Central Valley basin has pro- 
ceeded very largely from the use of these underground waters. No- 
where in America, and I believe nowhere in the world, is there such 
vast use of ground water resources. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 3 

The Central Valley area with which we deal, is traversed by two 
main streams, which will be described more in detail by the next wit- 
ness ; the Sacramento River coming down from the north and the San 
Joaquin River coming down from the south. 

The evidence at this hearing on both sides, I think, will center 
largely around the San Joaquin area where the greatest portion of 
the lands to be irrigated are located. I think the evidence will show 
there is storage capacity for underground waters in that area exceed- 
ing 20,000,000 acre-feet, and in order to work out this comprehensive 
plan of irrigation, it is going to be necessary to utilize those under- 
ground reservoirs for the storage of this water. 

Now, without amplifying it further at this time, I want to say it 
is my opinion, after 3 or 4 years of intensive study, that there is no 
possible way by which any reclamation limitation can practicably or 
legally be worked out, because of the abundance of these underground 
waters. 

I think it will be admitted by the adverse witnesses and by the 
representatives of the Bureau of Reclamation that an overlying prop- 
erty owner in California has a vested right and constitutional pro- 
tection to pump the waters that underlie his own ground and to continue 
pumping in the future; and that this right cannot be taken away 
from him. 

That is just one of the issues. I will not enlarge upon it further 
at this time. 

In addition to this complex situation of the underground waters, 
this area embraces the most fertile farm economy in the whole world, 
certainly one of the most scientifically organized and managed and 
with the greatest diversity of agricultural production. Within this 
area that we will deal with today, there are four counties which rank 
second, third, fourth and fifth in agricultural production in the United 
States. In this area we produce almost every kind and type of farm 
product and farm crop. It has almost every possible environmental 
factor as we will later see. 

In this highly developed area, the average size of farm is very small. 
On one survey by the Bureau of Reclamation the average size is given 
as 66 acres. In a survey we have made, it is somewhat smaller — 
50 acres. It is true there are a few large parcels, but these constitute 
a small percentage of the total affected area and it is my own opinion 
that in addition to being impossible to enforce the acreage limitation 
because of the underground water situation, it would be a serious mis- 
take of policy to attempt to clamp down upon this great and successful 
farm economy an artificial limitation that would disrupt the present 
existing operations that are very successful. 

Now, from 1940, as correspondence here will show, the State Water 
Project Authority of the State of California, whose head is Mr. Ed- 
ward Hyatt, our State engineer, and who will be here to testify, had 
been endeavoring to have the Bureau of Reclamation suggest some 
way of working out this problem or applying this limitation. The 
Bureau of Reclamation, as far as I know, has done absolutely nothing 
over a course of many years. 

As a matter of fact, the problem is supposed to have been under 
investigation by the Bureau from 1937 to 1947, and in those 10 years 
they have not suggested any workable plan. They have suggested, 



4 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

within my own experience, 11 different plans, 10 of which have been 
withdrawn, and I venture to say that the eleventh plan — the one they 
are now standing on — they will admit is impracticable before this 
hearing is over. That is merely an expression of opinion based on 
the pattern of the past, and I may prove to be wrong, but at any rate 
up to now every plan to solve this problem suggested by the Bureau 
of Reclamation has been abandoned by the Bureau of Reclamation 
itself and I think repudiated by everybody else. 

Now, in 1944 

Senator Ecton. May I interrupt for just one question, Senator? 

In the Central Valley at the present time, the limitation is not 
enforced? 

Senator Downey. That is correct. 

Senator Ecton. And has never been enforced? 

Senator Downey. That is correct. 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead. 

Senator Downey. This great area has developed into what I per- 
haps a bit provincially and boastfully have said is the greatest farm 
economy in the world. 

Now, with this difficulty pending over a period of many years and 
no initiative being taken by the Bureau of Reclamation to work it out, 
Representative Alfred Elliott of California, from the district that 
comprises Bakersfield in Kern County, introduced in 1944 an amend- 
ment to the rivers and harbors bill on the floor of the House which 
would have eliminated the 160-acre limitation from the Central Valley 
project. It passed the House. It came over to the Senate and was 
there heard in a 3-day session by our Commerce Committee. 

Senator Overton, the committee chairman, and other Senators as 
well, took the position that the bill should have a hearing before the 
Irrigation and Reclamation Committee and should not be disposed of 
by the Commerce Committee. As a part of its report on this rivers 
and harbors bill of 1944, they made this statement ; 

The committee recommends the striking out of section 4 of the bill as it passed 
the House relating to the application of the excess-land provisions of the Federal 
reclamation law to the Central Valley projects, because it presents an intricate 
and involved problem which belongs to the jurisdiction of another committee 
and the solution of which involves a more protracted study and investigation 
than this committee could give to it in the consideration of the bill relating to the 
authorization of navigation projects. 

Now, the informal understanding among representatives of the Bu- 
reau of Reclamation and everybody else concerned was that the Bureau 
of Reclamation would present some sort of bill and have a careful 
hearing before the Irrigation and Reclamation Committee of the Sen- 
ate. Oddly enough, the bill was not in any way submitted to me but 
was submitted by the Interior Department to Vice President Wallace, 
who referred it to Senator Hatch. 

To make the whole situation even more odd, instead of being sent 
to the Irrigation and Reclamation Committee, which undoubtedly then 
had jurisdiction, this bill went to the Public Lands and Surveys Com- 
mittee, of which Senator Hatch was a member and also the chairman, 
and of which I was not a member. 

Under those conditions, I introduced a resolution to investigate con- 
ditions in the Central Valley, and very informally and irregularly, 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 5 

because of the prior irregularity of sending this bill to the Public 
Lands Committee, I had a subcommittee of the Irrigation and Recla- 
mation Committee go to California for a hearing on this Hatch bill, 
then pending before the Public Lands and Surveys Committee. 

We had a hearing of several days in the Central Valley and I think 
after the first day every member of the subcommittee comprising 
five Senators abandoned the bill and repudiated it completely, includ- 
ing Senator Hatch. Later in the fall, Senator Hatch had that bill 
tabled in the Public Lands and Surveys Committee. 

Senator McFarland, Senator Gurney, Senator Hatch, and myself 
and Senator Cordon of Oregon were on that hearing. 

Still later, the Commerce Committee's report on the 1944 rivers and 
harbors bill came before the Senate, and the action of the committee 
striking out this limitation was upheld. During the next year, 1945, 
Mr. Bashore, then Commissioner of Reclamation, presented to me six 
or seven proposed solutions of this difficulty, but later Mr. Bashore, 
in conferences with me, admitted the impracticability of every one of 
these proposals. It was under these uncertain conditions that about 
18 months ago, the Bureau of Reclamation presented a proposed con- 
tract containing the 160-acre limitation to the irrigation districts of 
the Central Valley to sign. 

I think perhaps one district — one with no excess land at all — has 
signed the contracts. The others have all refused, and I am told by 
the Bureau of Reclamation that, looking back on it now, they know 
there have to be certain changes made in those contracts. In my opin- 
ion, the contracts being offered to the districts are wholly unwork- 
able and the Bureau of Reclamation, if it could force the signature and 
execution of those contracts, would plunge our districts into years of 
litigation, speculation, and uncertainty, at the end of which, in my 
opinion, it would be the smaller farmer who would suffer rather than 
the larger one ; and the facts on that will be developed later. 

Now, the bill before us attempts to cure the difficulty that I have 
just indicated. Joined with the Central Valley are two other projects 
because their conditions and difficulties are very much the same. All 
three are supplemental water projects dealing with private lands. 

Our testimony, of course, will deal with the Central Valley project, 
and unless the chairman has some question to ask me or Senator 
~Watkins, I will call our first witness. 

Senator Ectox. I would like to ask you if this Central Valley is 
irrigated by both the canal system and a pumping system? 

Senator Downey. Yes, Senator. Our first irrigation in the Central 
Valley was very cheap surface irrigation, but about 1910 we began 
extensive underground pumping. We first exhausted the surface 
water and then went to underground pumping. 

One difficulty is that the ground water in some areas, originally close 
to the surface, has now been depleted to the extent pumping is more 
expensive than formerly. One of the major purposes of the Central 
Valley project is to replenish the underground water supply. 

As a matter of fact, I am advised by engineers that the project 
cannot be carried out except by the replenishment of this 20,000,000 
acre-feet of underground storage capacity. 

To show you the relation between the underground water that we 
will have to use and the surface water, the great Shasta Dam, that we 



5 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

talk so much about, will have four and a half million acre-feet of 
usable storage when it comes into full operation. 

Our underground storage capacity in the Upper San Joaquin alone 
will hold 20,000,000 acre-feet. It is my opinion that probably not over 
20 percent of the total amount of water that will be used in some of 
these districts will be subject to any physical control by the Bureau 
of Reclamation in surface irrigation. The 75 or 80 percent will be by 
pumping from ground waters. 

Later, I will more fully present my own view of why I think it 
would be totally unfair, unethical, and I would even go so far as to 
say governmentally dishonest, to attempt to use this method of acreage 
limitation to break down and destroy existing projects, ranches, and 
farms that have been built up in good faith by denying them water. 

Senator Watkins. How nearly finished is this project? 

Senator Downey. Well, I would rather have that question asked of 
Mr. Hyatt, our State engineer. 

Senator Watkins. It is still under construction? 

Senator Downey. It is still under construction. Mr. Hyatt, our first 
witness, is prepared to give the committee a complete explanation of 
the project, its main engineering features, and how far it has 
progressed. 

Senator Watkins. You referred to contracts that have been sub- 
mitted to these irrigation districts, only one of which had been signed. 
Do I understand that they went ahead without having any repayment 
contracts signed in advance? 

Senator Downey. That is correct, and we are now in a condition 
where there might be a very heavy loss to the Federal Government; 
and if this quarrel is protracted, to the people themselves. 

Senator Watkins. Could you advise the committee under what pro- 
vision of the law they went ahead without having repayment contracts? 

Senator Downey. Well, again I would rather have the Bureau 
of Reclamation attorneys do that. 

Senator Watkins. I thought maybe you could give us that. 

Senator Downey. No, I cannot. I certainly think, as a matter of 
policy, however, that whoever is to blame, and I do not attempt to 
allocate responsibility, it has been most unfortunate that this question 
was not determined back in 1938 or 1939. I think it should have been. 

Senator Watkins. In my State, we have to have a repayment con- 
tract, every dollar of it, before they even start. 

Senator Downey. Yes. Well, I would say if the Bureau persists in 
its position that these kinds of contracts, which we believe are totally 
unworkable, shall be signed, whether they succeed in forcing the dis- 
tricts or not to sign them, there is apt to be heavy loss to the Federal 
Government in my opinion, because I think the financing of the dis- 
tricts will break down if they do force them to sign these contracts. 
If they don't sign them, and the Bureau refuses to deliver the water, 
of course, then the Government would have no income from the project, 
at least from the irrigation end of it. 

Senator Watkins. What has been the total amount expended on it 
to date? 

Senator Downey. $200,000,000. Mr. Straus, is that right? 

Mr. Straus. Approximately ; yes, sir. 

Senator Watkins. And you want more money now ? 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 7 

Senator Downey. We have to have more money. 

Senator Ecton. Mr. Straus, would you answer that question ? 

Mr. Straus. The project was started, Senator, when the President 
made an allocation on September 10, 1935 of $20,000,000, under the 
provisions of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935, which 
.contained instructions from Congress to start useful employment-giv- 
ing, public work. However, the funds were to be "reimbursable in 
accordance with reclamation laws" under the President's allocation of 
September 10, 1935. 

It was started under those provisions at the request of the State of 
California, the Governor, the Senators, and all the Representatives at 
that time. It was afterconstruction had started, prior to the signing 
of repayment contracts, that it was directly authorized by the Congress 
under the reclamation law. 

Senator Watkins. Under what division have the appropriations 
been made ? Under Reclamation ? 

Mr. Straus. All the early work and the early financing was done 
under the public works appropriations that ran, I think, through 1935 
or 1936, or 1937 perhaps. And, currently, it is financed by appropria- 
tions under the reclamation law. 

Senator Watkins. Sort of a hybrid project? 

Mr. Straus. Yes, sir. It developed as a public- works project at 
the request of the State of California and became a reclamation project 
under the reclamation law after that time. 

Senator Watkins. Thank you. 

Mr. Miller. I wonder if the Senator would yield ? 

Senator Ecton. George Miller, Representative from the State of 
California. Go ahead. 

Mr. Miller. Senator Downey invited me to handle the time for the 
opponents of the bill, and I have prepared a list and it was an informal 
understanding, at least between the Senator and me, that we would 
follow them because we have a large number of people here from Cali- 
fornia who want to testify. 

Now, I notice that you have brought Colorado in before us, but 
many of these men have to leave here at the end of the week, and I 
wondered if the Senator would bear that in mind before allocating 
any other time. 

We will be very glad to hold our people over who are here in Wash- 
ington, but I would just like to call your attention to the fact that 
many of them have come here from California and they would like to 
get back by the end of this week. 

I do not know whether the committee is going to sit on Saturday or 
not. 

Senator Ecton. We did not think so, Mr. Miller. 

Mr. Miller. Well, then, that would only give us a limited time to 
get in some of these people. 

Senator Ecton. I appreciate your calling this fact to our attention 
and we will just do the very best we can. 

Mr. Miller. I appreciate that, Senator, and it is not in the form of 
criticism. I did not think you knew of this arrangement, and just 
before we lost any other time, I wanted to call it to your attention, 
and I have to get over to a committee now. 



8 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Downey. If I might make this statement, Mr. Breitenstein 
of Colorado does not think that their witnesses will take over an hour. 
It is a very simple situation they have to describe and what I intended 
to do was perhaps leave one-half day of our time for rebuttal. 

Mr. Miller. That is all right. 

Senator Downey. I will try to work it out. 

Mr. Miller. I just wanted to call the chairman's attention to it. 
There are some 15 to 20 people here from California and I more or 
less told them I thought they would get back by the end of the week. 

Senator Ecton. Thank you, Mr. Miller. 

Mr. Hyatt. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Hyatt, our State engineer, is also the head of 
our water project authority which is our agency for dealing with these 
water problems. 

If I may be allowed to express this opinion, and my own opinion, 
Mr. Hyatt knows as much or more about the Central Valley projects 
as any other California citizen. He has grown up with it and has a 
wide experience in all its phases. 

Senator Ecton. All right ; go ahead. 

STATEMENT OF EDWARD HYATT, STATE ENGINEER AND EX OFFI- 
CIO EXECUTIVE OFFICER, WATER PROJECT AUTHORITY OF THE 
STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Hyatt. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, may I 
remain seated ? 

Senator Ecton. Yes ; you may. 

If you will give your name and title for the record, Mr. Hyatt. 

Mr. Hyatt. My name is Edward Hyatt. I am State engineer of 
California and ex officio executive officer of the Water Project Author- 
ity of the State of California. It is on behalf of this authority that 
I am appearing to urge approval of S. 912 which, if enacted, will 
exempt the Central Valley projects in California from the excess land 
provisions of the Federal reclamation law. 

As an engineer and a State official, I have been concerned with water 
development and water problems in the Central Valley for more than 
30 years, and for 20 years have been very closely connected with the 
Central Valley project. 

Now, in accordance with the committee's rules as I understand them, 
Mr. Chairman, I have filed, some days ago, copies of a prepared 
statement and I will not repeat that in full at all, but summarize it 
and I wish to present additional maps and statistical information 
which, I believe, w T ill be of very considerable value. 

Starting back at the beginning now, and testifying as to the Central 
Valley only, California, as you all know, is a semiarid State and a 
State where irrigation is necessary to produce crops. There are some 
coastal valleys or some places in the northern end of the State where 
some crops can be raised without irrigation but, in the main, there 
has to be irrigation. Even where there is substantial rainfall, say 
of 30 inches, the distribution is such that crops simply cannot be raised 
without irrigation. 

Irrigation has developed over the past 75 years to a great extent, 
there being several million acres irrigated and most of it is in what 
is called the Great Central Valley which is the valley of the two large 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 9 

rivers — the Sacramento coming from the north and the San Joaquin 
from the south. They join and flow into the San Francisco Bay, 
making a great basin completely surrounded by mountains except at 
one point where the two rivers flow through into the bay. 

Now. I have put here on the easel a map of the Central Valley 
projects. On the small key map, you will note the drainage which 
show it is the larger portion of the state. It has about two-thirds 
of the irrigated land in the state in it. 

Then, the large section shows the Central Valley project as it is 
under construction by the United States Bureau of Reclamation. 

Now, the development of it is of some interest — the history. The 
history in general is that the State used its water very rapidly, and 
along in the decade from 1910 on it was running out of water. They 
turned to wells and the wells played out in many places and there was 
a great demand that something be done about it. In the area of dis- 
tress which was the southern San Joaquin Valley, there were no local 
waters, and dreams were had for many years of bringing water from 
distant places. 

This finally resulted in 1921 in the State itself taking hold of the 
matter for investigation, and a very thorough investigation of the 
whole State was made, covering a decade, and the- facts ascertained 
the amount of land, the amount of water, and a very thorough com- 
plete and accurate engineering summary, inventory, of all such re- 
sources was made and a report presented to the legislature in 1931. 

As to the Central Valley, that report presented a rather complete 
plan. It presented what was called the State water plan, looking 
toward development of many of the rivers. But, there were very dire 
emergencies existing at about that time, particularly in the territory 
we are going to talk about, the southern San Joaquin valley, by reason 
of exhausting of great water supplies. Also, there were other prob- 
lems, 400,000 or 500.000 acres in the delta of the two rivers were threat- 
ened by salt water and flood problems and a lot of other problems. 
Anyhow, this investigation was made, and the facts developed and 
from the facts so developed, a plan was prepared. 

Now. some very interesting things developed by these engineers' 
investigations, and that was that the valley generates almost enough 
water for its future needs, but the trouble is that the water is in the 
north and the lands are in the south. That is, the greatest part of 
the water is in the northern end and the greater part of the land is 
in the southern end. 

As to the State as a whole, that is very well epitomized by the state- 
ment that three-quarters of the water is north of the State Capitol 
of Sacramento here, and about three-quarters of the land is south. 
That shows up one problem. 

Senator Downey. You might trace the San Joaquin River and the 
Sacramento River. These gentlemen might not be familiar with that 
part of the country. 

Mr. Hyatt. The Sacramento, rising in the northern end of the State. 
In fact, one stem comes out of Oregon and flows almost directly south 
to San Francisco Bay, a distance of well over 200 miles, perhaps 250 
miles. 



10 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

The San Joaquin River, rising in the mountains back of Fresno. 
flows northwesterly and joins the Sacramento near Stockton and 
flows into the bay. 

The rest of the geography of the valley is that south of Fresno there 
is a large basin which drains into an interior lake which, only in times 
of extreme floods, flows over in the San Joaquin, which has not been 
done for some time. Back in the seventies I think was the last time 
it really had any exit into San Francisco Bay. 

The other water problem is that the water mainly occurs in the 
winter and is mainly needed in the summer. You see, there are really 
only two seasons out there. The wet season from November to April 
or May, when nearly all the rainfall occurs, and the dry season from 
May to November. Crops simply have to have help during that long 
period in the way of irrigation. 

Very well. The two engineering problems was that the water was 
in the wrong place and it occurred at the wrong time, and those were 
overcome in the main by storage of water at the place where it oc- 
curred and transmission to the place where it was needed. 

Now, the Central Valley projects w T as made out at that time by the 
State in about 1930 with simply enough units of a larger plan to meet 
these present very great emergencies, and consists of only about a 
dozen units which might be just very briefly stated. 

The greater water supply is in the north in the Sacramento River. 
A dam is laid out at the head of the valley. Very large storage; 
very large powerhouse, transmission lines to carry 

Senator Downey. What is the name of that reservoir? 

Mr. Hyatt. Shasta Dam, with a capacity of 4,500,000 acre-feet. 
And, it will serve a great many other purposes — flood control and 
navigation and industry and power and municipal use and so forth. 
Many uses, all coordinated, so that they can all be served by a single 
reservoir. 

Many new engineering techniques were developed in order to work 
out many of those things. As I say, a very large powerhouse was 
proposed with transmission lines to carry the power to the place of 
use. The water would then be released to flow down the river to the 
delta area which is sea level, serving navigation and irrigation and 
so forth on the way. Then, to be picked up by pumps, a large part 
of it, and physically transported southeasterly into the San Joaquin 
Valley, which is the area of the greatest shortage. 

I will not take much time on these five counties here except to 
say that there have been thousands of wells developed. The surface 
water streams are not excellent streams. In the north, they are very 
short, but there was this tremendous body of underground water 
which was tapped in the early days and by the middle twenties was 
overdrawn so that there was abandonment occurring. The main 
reason for the Central Valley projects was the disaster taking place 
in that valley. 

So, the solution was to bring the Sacramento River water into the 
San Joaquin Valley.. 

Another dam on the San Joaquin River near Fresno. Then grav- 
ity canals north and south which would command the area in dis- 
tress. That was known and called as the Central Valley project. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 11 

Senator Ecton. Did I understand you to say, Mr. Hyatt, that up 
until 1932, this project was under the planning and construction of 
the State of California ? 

Mr. Hyatt. It was under the planning of the State. The State did 
not construct it. 

• Mr. Chairman, there had been great development under private 
auspices — I mean by local irrigation districts. There was very large 
development but there had been very little Government aid in that 
valley. One small project was all up until the Central Valley project 
came in 1935. 

Senator Watkins. Had the State or any of these private agencies 
any storage reservoirs? 

Mr. Hyatt. Oh, yes; many of them. 

Senator Watkins. Are they now included in this larger plan? 

Mr. Hyatt. Xo ; they are not in the Central Valley projects. 

Right here, I must draw a little distinction. There has been the 
general plan for the whole valley looking for the utilization ultimately 
of all the water. There are many other streams, and very good 
streams. 

The Bureau of Reclamation's recent comprehensive report on the 
Central Valley proposed expenditures of nearly $2,000,000,000. How- 
ever, that is not the Central Valley project as authorized by Congress. 
The Central Valley project is these, perhaps, dozen units which connect 
up the two valleys, and store water in the north and bring it through 
to the south and develop power. That is the Central Valley project, 
and that is what we are discussing — the application of this excess land 
provision to it. 

Now, the greatest need for supplemental water is in the San Joaquin 
Valley. Of course, in this discussion, I am going to have here, it re- 
volves about the San Joaquin because there is a greater need for supple- 
mental water than elsewhere and where there are grave difficulties in 
application of excess land provisions. For that reason, my attention 
will be directed to the San Joaquin Valley and particularly to the five 
southern counties which would receive water from this dam on the 
San Joaquin River, Friant Dam. 

Coming to the underground water system, it is considerably complex, 
legally, and physically. I would like to mention it briefly. Senator 
Downey brought it out somewhat. But, through the development over 
the past 50 years, as the surface streams were inadequate or played 
out, the settlers resorted to wells. Water was not very far down and 
was abundant and it was the failure of many of those wells which 
caused the abandonment of a large part of civilization in some areas. 

Very well. In laying out this plan, the surface storages were lack- 
ing in the southern end of the valley, and were difficult, and the under- 
ground storage was resorted to. It has many advantages. It has 
enclosed basins. There is no evaporation lost. The water can be 
carried through a great many years, and it is cheap and easy to get out 
and it is available. 

Now, it is a matter of some difficulty, as I said, and we tried to com- 
pare that. with the surface storage. In the matter of regulating water, 
you have to have storage. It has been developed in California, at 
least, that that storage in some cases can be obtained underground in 
lieu of having to build a very expensive surface reservoir, and in at- 



12 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

tempting to lay that out so you could visualize it, I have had a chart 
prepared. 

This chart I have here is an artist's depiction of looking at the Cen- 
tral Valley from a point out in the Pacific Ocean, from a general per- 
spective view. Now, if you can see it there, you can see Mount Shasta, 
the commanding peak at the northern end of the valley. Shasta 
Reservoir. Coming on down the valley itself, the mountains in the 
background showing Yosemite Valley and Mount Whitney which is 
the highest mountain on the continent of the United States. The 
project is shown roughly. The river from Shasta Reservoir south, and 
the pumping system from the delta, south, and Friant Reservoir. 
Then, you notice a number of dots on the map south of Fresno. Those 
are intended to be wells. They are not very plain. 

Now, that just shows the valley, the projects, and the country in 
which the wells are the principal source of supply. 

Now then, just below that is an attempt to show the underground 
structure. Immediately underground is the underground water- 
storage, the water-bearing sediments. I do not know how deep they 
are. They are various depths, from perhaps 50 feet up to several 
thousand, perhaps, but under them are the shales of the original 
formation. 

Now, you will notice a lot of vertical lines there, intended to repre- 
sent wells, piercing the water bearing sediments. Those are not in- 
tended to be oil wells ; they are intended to be water wells. Oil wells 
out there go deeper to perhaps 12,000 or 15,000 feet. That is simply an 
attempt to show how these wells pierce these underground water bodies 
and supply water for the irrigation of the crops. 

Now, below that again is a comparison of the amount of storage 
space underground as compared with that the project has above 
ground. At the left is Shasta Reservoir with a capacity of 4,500,000 
acre-feet and then the underground water storage of 26,000,000 acre- 
feet, and at the right, the Friant Reservoir with a capacity of 520,000 
acre-feet. 

The explanation underneath the picture is as follows : 

Utilization of the available underground water storage lying immediately below 
the present irrigated and irrigable lands is a most important element in the 
functioning and operation of the Central Valley Project. Through this medium, 
it will be possible to conserve and use in an efficient manner the water available 
for the irrigation of the lands capable of service from the project. Part of the 
water applied to the lands from the canals of the project, and other water spread 
for recharge of the underground basins, will percolate to such basins and be 
available to overlying lands by pumping. 

It is possible to artificially recharge underground water by means of 
spreading. It has been done for many years in California. 

The total usable capacity within economic limits of underground storage in 
the entire Central Valley is 2f5,OOO,O0O acre-feet — five times the combined capacity 
of Shasta and Friant Reservoirs. In the southern San Joaquin Valley alone 
there are 20,000,000 acre-feet of usable capacity. The practicability of using this 
underground storage is illustrated by the operation now of some 30,000 irrigation 
wells and pumping plants in the southern San Joaquia Valley. 

That is, in those five counties there are 30,000 wells with a pumping 
capacity of about a second-foot per well or 30,000 second-feet instan- 
taneous capacity. 

That shows the size of the operation. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 13 

I had a great big map showing the wells, 30,000 of them, all on one 
map, but it is too big to bring into the room, but that is in those five 
counties alone so you can see the importance of the underground water 
bodies to the Pacific civilization and to the Central Valley project. 

Senator Ecton. Have you had to deepen those wells from year to 
year? 

Mr. Hyatt. Oh, yes ; they have deepened them and deepened them 
and deepened them, and probably the main reason for this project 
starting in the beginning around the rim of the valley where the sedi- 
ments are on shale, many of the wells simply quit ; they got down to 
rocks, and lands were abandoned and towns were abandoned and 
civilization was abandoned in some sections. 

That focused attention on the matter. That led to the State inves- 
tigation which eventually led to the bill of reclamation coming in to 
build the project, and it is now half done. That is the history of it. 

Senator Watkins. How deep are the deepest wells there? 

Mr. Hyatt. Water wells go up to 1,500 feet to 2,000 feet. There 
are not so many of them. Most of them are probablv a few hundred 
feet. 

Senator Downey. You do not mean the pumping lift? 

Mr. Hyatt. No; the depth of the well. On the pumping lift, it is 
not economic to pump more than a certain distance. 

Senator Watkins. What would you say that distance is? 

Mr. Hyatt. It varies with the price of crops, with the kind of crops, 
with the efficiency of the pump. But, for the crops raised in that 
valley as of the past 10 years, 100 feet is certainly very reasonable, 
and many of them are pumping 200 or 300 feet. But it depends on 
the power rate, particularly on the price of farm crops too. 

But the pumping lift, efficiency of pumping equipment, has in- 
creased, and I would say 100 or maybe 150 feet is an economic dis- 
tance to pump. That does not mean distance to water or ground 
water, however. I will come to a map in a minute which will show 
you the distance to the ground water. Because nearly always — in fact, 
always — there has to be a drawn-down in order to produce the water 
so that if water is 100 feet below the ground, it probably has to pump 
125 feet or perhaps 150 feet to get a decent supply. Perhaps the 
second foot that I spoke of. 

Senator Watkins. Do you have any flowing wells in that territory ? 

Mr. Hyatt. I do not think there are any left now. Of course, 50 
years ago it was a very common thing. The geology and engineering 
of underground water basins is fairly well understood now. The 
water has come down the deep can}^on during floods, particularly car- 
rying tremendous quantities of silt, and established gravel channels. 

The heavy material, the gravel, the boulders, deposited up near the 
top where the velocity falls off and the lighter material carried out 
40 or 50 miles maybe — the clays. 

The underground water bodies then are connected by these different 
gravel channels. A new flood comes through and tears it wide open. 
In this area it is practically an underground lake. There are not very 
many places where you cannot get water. There are some but in the 
most part of the valley underground water is available and in general 
at an economic pumping lift and an economic cost. • 

62453—47 2 



14 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Butler. Senator Watkins asked you what the depth of the 
wells was. I would rather know if there are figures available as to 
what }^our average lift is in 3^our well. 

Mr. Hyatt. Well, I doubt if there is a lift less than 50 feet and from 
that they go on up. The maximum might be as much as 400 feet. But, 
iliat is not economic in many places or for many crops. 

Senator McFarland. What crops can you grow economically with 
a 400-foot lift there? 

Mr. Hyatt. Well, of course, it is getting down where the water is. 

Senator McFarland. I understand that. 

Mr. Hyatt. Citrus and orange people can go down 300 or 400 feet 
all right, I think, and we have seen some places where they go very 
deep for crops like flax or things of that kind, but there is a very 
peculiar reason for that, and that is on the west side of the valley 
'nth large holdings, who drill very large wells that cost $20,000 or 
£25,000 per well, with a very large flow. Operating on a 100 percent 
load factor, that is all the time, they get a very low power rate, a few 
mills, and their cost per acre-foot is perhaps only a third of what it is 
in the smaller j^laces on the other side of the valley. 

So, they are over there raising crops with a very heavy pumping 
iift which ordinarily you would not find feasible. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Hyatt, concerning the question that Senator 
Butler asked you here, do you not have charts here showing on this 
great area the depth to water in different places ? 

Mr. Hyatt. I have, sir. I might just as well introduce them now. 
They are too large to handle here, but for the area which we are talking 
about here, the southern San Joaquin Valley, something over 2,000,000 
ticres is expected to take water from this project. 

We have made a very intensive survey, particularly to determine the 
Mze of land holdings. For years, we have been trying to work this 
question out and have been very seriously handicapped by not having 
very accurate data, so that about a year ago we undertook to get it 
and we obtained the information from the county records, the tax 
rollector's and assessor's which, of course, is getting right down to the 
grass roots. We had to get figures on some 90,000 holdings but anyhow 
we did it and I think this data was not collected to prove anything 
at all, but it was collected to find out the facts so that reliable conclu- 
sions could be based on accurae facts. 

And, on the same map, showing all these different areas, those less 
than 160, those of 160 and 320 and those over 320 there is also shown 
an underground water contour, line of equal distance to the ground 
water from the surface and I can develop those figures here. 

Senator Downey. Your investigation also showed what parcels of 
these lands that you surveyed are presently irrigated by underground 
and by surface water, does it not, Mr. Hyatt ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Yes, we have that too, and that shows on the map by 
way of overlap which is a little difficult to handle on the map. I might 
put one of them out here as a sample but while we are on this under- 
ground water question, the survey covered 3,200,000 acres, and as to the 
ground water, there were only about 2,000,000 acres on which there 
were accurate figures. Some of the areas have no wells or at least no 
record. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 15 

Of the 2,000,000 acres, the water level on 1,282,000 acres was between 
€ and 50 feet. Between 50 and 100 feet, it was 364,000 acres. From 
100 to 150 feet, it was 151,000 acres. And so forth down to 300 feet. 
Over 300 feet, we only found 11,000 acres. 

The essential thing there is that on these 2,000,000 acres the ground 
water was within a hundred feet on 1,600,000 acres, or 80 percent. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Hyatt, vou said 1,600,000 acres. That would 
not be 80 percent of 3,200,000. 

Mr. Hyatt. I said, we had figures on 2,000,000 acres only. There 
are some areas there where there is no data available. The ground 
water survey covered 2,000,000 and of that 1,600,000 acres water was 
within 100 feet, 

Senator Downey. I beg your pardon. 

Mr. Hyatt. Those figures are not exact but they are substantially 
correct. 

I got that a little out of order. I am coming now to the history and 
the actions of the Water Project Authority whom I represent here. 

The Authority developed this report in 1931 and proposed that the 
State build the project. At that time, the cost estimated was $170,000,- 
000. It was strongly opposed by the power companies of the State, 
since it included large power developments. That was a very con- 
troversial issue which resulted in a State-wide election in December 

1933, which was carried. And the authority then — in fact, the author- 
ity was created by that particular act — took up the matter of getting 
the project built and at that time the authorization was for revenue 
bonds, not for general obligation bonds, and at that time, that was not 
a feasible method in California. The books did not quite balance. 

So, it was taken to the Public Works Administration as an applica- 
tion for a 30 percent loan advance under which the figures did balance. 
However, it was not approved by the PWA and in the next year, in 

1934, it was studied by the Bureau of Reclamation, particularly Dr. 
Elwood Mead and these negotiations resulted in executive allocation 
of funds by President Roosevelt in 1935 for commencement of the con- 
struction of the project, pursuant to the Federal reclamation laws. 

At least, we understood it was pursuant to the Federal reclamation 
laws. 

Then, it was authorized by Congress in 1937 and appropriations were 
made. The first appropriation by Congress directly was in 1936 and 
there have been appropriations each and every year since. 

Senator Ectox. Were there any objections raised at that time to 
this limitation in the bill ? 

Mr. Hyatt. No. I cover that here, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Ecton. All right. Go ahead. 

Mr. Hyatt. During the time indicated, little was known in Cali- 
fornia concerning the precise terms of the reclamation law. There was 
then only one small project, 11,000 acres in the Sacramento Valley, and 
a small section of the Klamath project in Oregon and the Yuma pro 
ject in Arizona, so there was not very much done. 

Further, the reclamation laws were designed to apply to public or 
combined public and private lands. In the Central Valley project, 
there have been no public lands for many years. All are private 
ownership. 



16 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Due to this circumstance and that the project was authorized by 
special act of the Congress for improvement of navigation, for flood 
control and other purposes, and not pursuant to the Federal reclama- 
tion laws and also that the project was designed to furnish supple- 
mental water to preserve existing development of private lands, based 
on existing but inadequate rights to the use of water, it was quite gen- 
erally assumed by both state and federal officials, concerned with the 
negotiations that the excess land provisions of the Federal reclama- 
tion laws would not apply to the project. 

That was back in 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938. It received no considera- 
tion because nobody thought it would apply. That includes the 
Federal people, too. 

Senator Watkixs. Were any public statements or any official state- 
ments made to that effect ? 

Mr. Hyatt. I do not have — I have something in writing from the 
chief counsel of the bureau in Los Angeles but nobody gave it much 
attention and I do not know that there is very much in writing on it. 
However, it was a widespread assumption during those years. 

Senator Watkins. I was wondering if any public statement had 
been made by the Bureau officials which would give some basis for 
conclusion or such assumption. 

Mr. Hyatt. I have nothing in writing from them. sir. 

Senator Watkins. Any press statements or anything of that kind 
made that you know of ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Well, we have some memoranda of conferences and 
things of that kind but I do not believe anybody would dispute that 
statement — anybody that was there in the area at that time. I have 
heard statements within the last 2 or 3 weeks that it would not apply,, 
not in writing though verbally — not on this project, however. 

There was nothing — no contract nor anything* of that kind. 

But, we in our own office there, it was brought up a few times and 
finally a member, my own attorney in fact, there in the office — said 
that there was a very active possibility that it did apply in 1938 — 
October 2, 1938 — which was the grst time I had any inkling of it. 

So, I took it up with the Bureau at that time and was advised 
that I was correct and that it probably would apply, and that it 
should be worked out by special legislation. 

The Colorado Big Thompson was under study at that time, or 
maybe the law was passed that year, I do not know, but anyway the 
understanding was that it would be worked out by the Bureau by 
special legislation at that time. That was the personal understand- 
ing; I have no letters on it. 

In 1938 and 1939 nothing happened on that, so in 1910, the State 
office took it up and passed a resolution : 

Now therefore, be it resolved by the Water Project Authority, That the Execu- 
tive officer is authorized and directed to request the Secretary of the Interior for 
information concerning the applicability of the excess land provisions of the 
Federal reclamation law to the Central Valley project ; the effect thereof if deemed 
applicable; plans, if any, for the administration thereof; whether any investiga- 
tion has been made or is contemplated to determine the effect of such provisions 
in regard to the different localities and variant conditions obtaining within the 
project area ; whether it is intended to propose any legislation relative to exemp- 
tions therefrom or otherwise; and any other information that may be helpful to 
the authority in considering the matter of such provisions in relation to the Cen- 
tral Valley project. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 17 

Copies of this resolution were transmitted to the Federal authorities 
concerned and I would request, Mr. Chairman, the privilege of filing a 
copy of the resolution for incorporation in the record. 

Senator Ecton. It is accepted. 

(The resolution is as follows:) 

Water Project Authority of the State of California 
resolution adopted at regular meeting on september 24, 1940 

Whereas the excess land provisions of the Federal reclamation law are designed 
to restrict to a maximum of 160 acres the land for which each owner under a 
Federal reclamation project may receive water ; and 

Whereas enforcement of such provisions with respect to the Central Valley 
project might have a far-reaching effect on development in the areas served 
thereby ; and 

Whereas it appears such provisions may in the future be applied in the admin- 
istration of the project ; and 

Whereas it further appears that special legislation has been enacted by Congress 
establishing limitations upon the application of such provisions to certain projects 
and that other legislation may be introduced in Congress relating thereto; 
Now, therefore, be it 

Resolved by the Water Project Authority that the Executive Officer is author- 
ized and directed to request the Secretary of the Interior for information concern- 
ing the applicability of the excess land provisions of the Federal reclamation law 
to the Central Valley project; the effect thereof if deemed applicable; plans, if 
any, for the administration thereof ; whether any investigation has been made or 
is contemplated to determine the effect of such provisions in regard to the different 
localities and variant conditions obtaining within the project area ; whether it is 
intended to propose any legislation relative to exemptions therefrom or otherwise ; 
and any other information that may be helpful to the Authority in considering the 
matter of such provisions in relation to the Central Valley project. 

I hereby certify that this is a full, true, and correct copy of a resolution adopted 
by the Water Project Authority of the State of California at its regular meeting 
held in Sacramento, Calif., on September 24, 1940. 

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the official seal 
of the Water Project Authority of the State of California, this thirtieth day of 
September 1940. 



Acting Secretary of the Water Project Authority of the Sta*e of California. 

Mr. Hyatt. Response was received to that resolution in September 
1940 from the Commissioner of Reclamation — it was on November 
5, 1940 — which concluded : 

The problem raised in the resolution is being studied broadly by the Bureau 
of Reclamation. When information bearing directly on the problem in Cali- 
fornia is available, I shall be glad to provide it for you. 

The Bureau did undertake a study of the general subject and the 
results thereof were compiled in a report prepared for the Bureau 
by an attorney, Mr. King, under date of May 24, 1941. 

Now, I do not know if that report has been approved or adopted by 
the Bureau but it has been in general circulation for several years, 
and here are a few quotes from that report by the Reclamation Bureau 
attorney. 

Senator Watkins. What position did Mr. King occupy? 

Mr. Hyatt. What was that ? 

Senator Watkins. What was his position ? 

Mr. Hyatt. B. P. King, associate attorney, Bureau of Reclamation. 

Senator McFarland. Who was the report made to, Mr. Hyatt? 

Mr. Hyatt. To the Reclamation Commissioner, I assume. I as- 
sume to the Commissioner of Reclamation. I do not have a copy. I 
just have these quotes here. 



18 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator McFarland. That is all right. 
Mr. Hyatt. Here is what he says : 

While the limitation as to the area of land in single ownership which may- 
be furnished supplemental water is definite, enforcement of the limitation has 
been completely lacking except in the case of three recent supplemental 
projects. * * * 

The almost complete failure of enforcement of the 160-acre limitation in 
connection with the furnishing of supplemental water would seem to indicate 
that a part of the fault may lie with the limitation itself. The attempt) in 
all cases and under all circumstances to establish the same rigid limitations as 
to landownership in the case of land receiving supplemental water as in the 
case of land receiving its entire water supply from a Government project fails 
to take into consideration the many differences involved. Likewise, conditions 
encountered in the furnishing of supplemental water vary greatly, and no single 
rigid rule is likely to prove workable in all cases. * * * 

That supplemental water-supply project involve special considerations and 
cannot be governed by the strict rules applicable to new developments is ex- 
pressly recognized by Congress in the passage of legislation exempting specific 
projects from the excess lands restrictions of the Federal reclamation laws. 
Unless some general legislation presenting a satisfactory approach to this prob- 
lem is devised, it may be expected that further special legislation will result 
in nearly every case where enforcement of the excess lands restrictions in their 
present form is attempted. * * * 

* * * But there is a vital difference between the ordinary reclamation 
project and the supplemental project. In the case of the former, the Govern- 
ment is converting unsettled or thinly settled raw land into centers of population. 
Settlers are brought in from the outside, and new communities are established. 
The process is almost wholly one of creation. In the case of the supplemental 
project, however, existing communities must be taken into account and estab- 
lished modes of agriculture must be reckoned with. In such a situation there 
cannot be the same freedom of action in limiting the acreage of private land in 
single ownership as exists in the case of new projects. 

There is no room for argument as to the necessity of revising the present flat 
160-acre limitation in favor of a more lenient and a more flexible policy. Nearly 
30 years of failure of enforcement plus the enactment by Congress of legislation 
waiving the application of the limitation in two out of the three cases where 
enforcement ha* been attempted is conclusive evidence of the necessity of such 
revision. 

. Senator Ecton. Were these cases of attempted enforcement in 
California ? 

Mr. Hyatt. They were not, and I do not know just which ones they 
were. I assume they were the ones that were exempted by Congress. 
That is the Colorado-Big Thompson project in Colorado and one 
or two projects in the State of Nevada, but I am sure they were not in 
California. I do not know, but I assume that is the case. 

Senator Watkins. You referred a while ago to municipalities get- 
ting water from the project. 

My. Hyatt. Yes, sir. 

Senator Watkins. Do they have any special contract with the Bu- 
reau for the water they get ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Oh, no ; I think there are a few municipalities getting 
water at the present time but I believe they would get it by contract 
with a district which district, in turn, contracts with the Bureau. 

Senator Watkins. They do not contract directly with the Bureau ? 

My. Hyatt. I do not think so. The Bureau people could answer 
that much better than I could. 

Now, the next matter taken up here is the so-called amendment to 
the Kivers and Harbors Act of 1944, which has already been covered. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 19 

The Authority, however, considered the matter and on May 2, 1944, 
passed a resolution which is partly as follows : 

Now therefore he it resolved by the Water Project Authority, that 
(a) While the authority approves the purpose and policy of the excess land 
provisions of the Federal Reclamation Laws, when and where they are properly 
applicable, the authority believes that it would be harsh, unjust, and unworkable 
to apply such provisions to the great majority of the Central Valley project 
service area ; 

(2) That water will shortly be available from the project and many interests 
in grave need thereof will not accept supplemental water from the project sub- 
ject to such excess land provisions ; 

(3) That the Congress should at this session amend the excess land provisions 
of the reclamation laws as relating to the Central Valley project in a manner 
responsive to the realities of the Central Valley project conditions and if no such 
workable amendment to the excess land provisions is available, that such pro- 
visions be eliminated for Central Valley project, as has been done by Congress 
in similar cases where the difficulties of application were not as great as would 
be the case for Central Valley. 

I would like to file that resolution with you. 
Senator Ecton. It will be all right. 
The resolution is as follows : 

Water Project Authority of the State of California 

resolution adopted by water project authority of the state: of california 

MAY 2, 1944 

Whereas the excess land provisions of the Federal reclamation laws are appli- 
cable to the Central Valley project ; and 

Whereas such excess land provisions are designed for the purpose of protecting 
settlers on vacant public lands, or arid lands in private ownership from the eco- 
nomic dangers of land speculation and for the purpose of limiting the size of farms 
receiving project water to not more than 160 acres, or not less than 40 acres; 
and 

Whereas the objective of such provisions is to secure the development of 
arid lands by the maximum number of settlers consistent with sound economic 
practice, and at the same time to protect them from land speculation ; and 

Whereas there are few, if any, areas of vacant public lands which it would 
be feasible to irrigate from the Central Valley project, and the project is not 
designed to bring large areas of new lands into production, but primarily to 
furnish greatly needed supplemental water supplies to already settled and 
developed areas having inadequate water supplies ; and 

Whereas supplemental water will shortly be available from the project, and 
many of such settled and developed areas are owned in tracts exceeding 160 
acres ; and 

Whereas it would be harsh, unjust, and unworkable to apply the excess land 
provisions to the majority of the lands of the Central Valley project, and their 
attempted enforcement would at least partially delay or defeat the accomplish- 
ment of the objectives of the project ; and 

Whereas the rivers and harbors bill (H. R. 3961) as passed by the House of 
Representatives, and now under consideration by the Senate, contains an amend- 
ment which would exempt the Central Valley project from these provisions : 
Now therefore be it 

Resolved, by the Water Project Authority, That (1) While the authority ap- 
proves the purpose and policy of the excess land provisions of the Federal recla- 
mation laws when and where they are properly applicable, the authority believes 
that it would be harsh, unjust, and unworkable to apply such provisions to the 
great majority of the Central Valley project service area ; 

(2) That water will shortly be available from the project and many interests 
in grave need thereof will not accept supplemental water from the project subject 
to such excess land provisions ; 

(3) That the Congress should at this session amend the excess land provisions 
of the reclamation laws as relating to the Central Valley project in a manner 
responsive to the realities of Central Valley conditions and if no such workable 
amendment to the excess land provision is available, that such provisions be 



20 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

eliminated for Central Valley project, as has been done by Congress in similar 
cases where the difficulties of application were not as great as would be the 
case for Central Valley. 

Mr. Hyatt. Now, at the hearings held in California on this general 
subject in 1944, the authority directed the appearance of its officers, 
and a statement was filed with that committee which I would like to 
also include. It is a brief statement. 

Senator Ecton. It will be attached. 

Mr. Hyatt. It reiterates what has already been said. 

(The statement referred to is as follows:) 

Statement of Edward Hyatt, State Engineer and Executive Officer, Water 
Project Authority of the State of California 

Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, my name if Edward Hyatt, 
and I am State engineer and executive officer of the Water Project Authority of 
the State of California on whose behalf I am appearing. The Water Project 
Authority of California consists of a board of five State officials, all serving ex 
officio, comprising the attorney general, the State treasurer, the State comptroller, 
the director of finance and the director of public works. The director of public 
works is chairman of the authority and the State engineer is executive officer as 
provided by law. The authority was created by a statute enacted by the State 
legislature in 1933 and has been continuously active since that date in all matters 
pertaining to the construction and operation of the Central Valley project on 
behalf of the State and the people and interests which the project is designed 
to serve. 

It is my understanding that this hearing has been called for the purpose of 
considering the question of possible elimination or modification of the provisions 
of the reclamation law relating to limitations as to size of holding to be served 
by the Central Valley project. However, before discussing this matter and pre- 
senting the views of the authority with respect thereto, I believe it would assist 
the members of the committee, particularly those who may not be entirely familiar 
with the project and its background, to briefly discuss the history leading up to 
the project and to describe the project and its present status, which I shall present 
briefly with the aid of the map on the wall. 

THE GREAT CENTRAL VALLEY OF CALIFORNIA 

The Great Central Valley of California (refer to map), is the interior basin 
of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. It is about 500 miles long and 40 
miles wide and is surrounded by mountains, except at one point, where the com- 
bined rivers flow through a gap — Carquinez Straits — into San Francisco Bay and 
the Pacific Ocean. The basin contains over 14,000,000 gross acres of agricultural 
land, of which 9,700,000 are susceptible of irrigation and of which 3,000,000 acres 
have been brought under irrigation by gradual private development started about 
1860. Since 1910 increasingly destructive water shortages on some of these 
irrigated lands have occurred, which was the underlying reason for the creation 
of the Central Valley project. 

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 

The first ideas and activities with respect to the development of the State's 
water resources on a regional basis started over 75 years ago. In 1866 the State 
legislature appropriated funds to start investigations and surveys. In 1872 a 
general plan of water development for the Great Central Valley was conceived by 
private enterprise. 

In 1873 a commission, appointed by the Secretary of War under authority of 
Congress, issued a report outlining a general plan for the development and 
utilization of Sierra Nevada streams for irrigation. 

From 1878 to 18S8 the State made an extensive investigation of the water 
resources under an act of the legislature. 

While there were sporadic investigations made from time to time subse- 
quently, it was not until 1921 that the State resumed comprehensive investigations 
of its water resources. [ 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 21 

Due to the rapid expansion in the development and use of water, serious water 
problems began to arise about 1920. Subnormal precipitation and run-off start- 
ing about 1917 accelerated the decline of water supplies and hastened conditions 
of deficient water supply in several areas, notably in portions of the southern 
San Joaquin Valley where underground water levels were rapidly declining, 
and in the delta region where due to shortage of stream inflow, salty water from 
the bay invaded the channels of the delta making the water unfit for irrigation 
and other uses. 

The growing realization of the serious consequences of impending water 
shortage led to the initiation by act of the legislature in 1921 of intensive 
investigations and studies by the State engineer directed to the formulation 
of a comprehensive plan for maximum conservation, control, storage, distribu- 
tion, and application of all the waters of the State. These investigations were 
prosecuted continuously for 10 years. A final report was issued and submitted 
to the legislature in 1931, which presented plans for the comprehensive develop- 
ment of the water resources of the State, but particularly for the Great Central 
Valley Basin, designated as the State water plan; and recommended a project 
for immediate development to take care of the urgent .water problems, which was 
subsequently named the Central Valley project. 

In 1933 the legislature enacted legislation — the Central Valley Project Act 
of 1933 — authorizing the project and providing for its construction, operation, 
financing, etc. as a State enterprise and creating the water project authority 
to administer the project. This act was held up by referendum but was approved 
at a State-wide election on December 19, 1933, and the act became effective on 
January 13, 1934. With the adoption of this legislation, machinery was set in 
motion which has been the means of bringing the project to its present stage of 
actual construction. 

The financing of the project was a major problem from the outset. Efforts were 
started as early as 1929 to secure the cooperation and assistance of the Federal 
Government in the construction of the project. An application was filed in Janu- 
ary 1934 for a PWA grant and loan, and during 1934 and 1935 the water project 
authority was active continuously in endeavoring to secure the approval of this 
application and further in securing the support and assistance of various Federal 
departments involved and in appearing before appropriate committees of Congress. 

Although the application for a PWA grant and loan failed to receive approval, 
the efforts to obtain Federal recognition and financing of the project began to bring 
results in 1935. Upon the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers a direct 
contribution of $12,000,000 of Federal funds for the construction of Shasta Dam 
was authorized in the Rivers and Harbors bill approved August 30, 1935. This 
was followed on September 10, 1935, by an allocation by President Roosevelt of 
$20,000,000 from the Emergency Relief Appropriation of 1935 to the Bureau of 
Reclamation for the purpose of starting construction of the project. Since 1935, 
it has been under construction by the Bureau of Reclamation. 

The first appropriation of funds by Congress for the project was made in 1936 
in the amount of $6,900,000 and Congress since has appropriated funds each year to 
continue construction. Total funds appropriated or made available to date 
aggregate about $173,000,000. The project was reauthorized by Congress in the 
Rivers and Harbors Act of August 26, 1937. Cost estimate over $300,000,000 in- 
creased from State figures on account of increased size of certain units and war 
costs. 

WATER PROBLEMS 

The major areas of deficient water supply in the Great Central Valley, as 
determined by the State's intensive investigations comprise the southern San 
Joaquin Valley, the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta and the Sacramento Valley. 

Southern San Joaquin Valley.— On the easterly slope of the southern San 
Joaquin Valley from Madera County on the north to Kern County on the south are 
about a million and a quarter acres of highly developed lands under irrigation, 
producing citrus fruits, many varieties of deciduous fruits, olives, grapes, cotton, 
truck crops and forage, and other field crops. These lands obtain their irrigation 
supplies partly from underground and partly from surface streams. Surface 
water supplies of local streams are fully utilized. Ground water supplies are 
being overdrawn in many areas resulting in receding ground water levels. During 
the period of subnormal precipitation and run-off which extended from about 
1917 to about 1935, wells went dry in some areas and pumping lifts became 
economically prohibitive in other areas with the result that 40,000 to 50,000 
acres of developed lands had to be abandoned and reverted to desert. 



22 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Sacramento-San Joaquin delta. — The Sacramento-San Joaquin delta comprises 
over 40d,OCO acres of some of the richest agricultural land in the State producing 
abundant yields of asparagus, potatoes, corn, sugar beets, celery, and other truck 
crops, alfalfa, grain, deciduous fruit, etc. The water supply for these lands is 
obtained from the network of channels through which the Sacramento and San 
Joaquin Rivers flow and finally discharge into Suisun Bay. These channels are 
within the San Francisco Bay tidal basin and the water supply therein is annually 
menaced by salt water from the bay. In past years the flow into the delta has 
been insufficient to prevent such invasion and in 1931 over 70 percent of the 
delta was invaded by salt water resulting in a direct crop loss estimated at near 
a million and a half dollars. 

Upper San Francisco Bay area. — Just west of the delta is the section of Contra 
Costa County bordering the southerly shore of Suisun Bay extending from Oakley 
on the east to Martinez on the west which is also short of water. Within this 
area are important industrial developments, numerous cities and 33,000 acres of 
cultivated lands. The principal source of industrial and municipal water supply, 
i. e., the lower river and bay channels, is not available for fresh water needs 
during a large part of the year due to saline invasion. The local water supplies, 
both surface and underground, are extremely meager. Therefore, it has been 
difficult to obtain sufficient water for the present developments and further 
expansion is prevented. 

Sacramento ydlley. — In normal years the lands now irrigated from the Sacra- 
mento River between Redding and the city of Sacramento obtain sufficient water 
to meet all requirements without deficiency. However, in dry. years the supply 
is hardly sufficient to meet the demands. In the summer of 1931 all of the river 
flow above Sacramento was used and for a short period there was no downstream 
flow of water passing Sacramento. In most years, during the summer months 
of heavy irrigation draft the flow in the river is insufficient to maintain adequate 
depths for commercial navigation and navigation above Sacramento has been 
practically abandoned for many years due to this deficiency in flow. The river 
was formerly navigable to Red Bluff. 

In addition to these requirements for supplemental water supplies, there is need 
for regulation of winter flood flows of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers 
to provide increased protection from floods for the lands bordering the main 
river channels. 

ENGINEERING PLAN AND OPERATION 

The Central Valley project is designed primarily to meet these immediate 
urgent problems of deficient water supply. The engineering investigations had 
determined that there was a shortage of water supply in the southern section — 
the San Joaquin Valley — and, when fully regulated, a surplus in the northern, 
or Sacramento section, so the project in general, is designed to transfer water 
from north to south. The plans provide for major storage reservoirs — Shasta 
Reservoir on the Sacramento River and Friant Reservoir on the San Joaquin 
River — to conserve and regulate the flow of these streams, and canals for con- 
veying the regulated supplies to the several areas requiring additional water as 
described above. 

Shasta Dam and power plant. — Shasta Dam is the major storage unit of the 
project, located on the Sacramento River about 13 miles north of city of Redding. 
The dam rises to a height of about 500 feet above present stream level and pro- 
vides a gross storage capacity of 4,500,000 acre-feet. Shasta power plant, located 
at the toe of the dam will have an installed capacity of 375.000 kilowatts. 

Shasta Dam has long been designated as the key unit of the project because of 
the fact that the waters of the Sacramento River stored in Shasta Reservoir 
will furnish most of the additional water supply to be made available by the 
entire project. In addition a portion of the reservoir capacity will be reserved 
during the flood .season to regulate flood flows. The waters stored and regulated 
in Shasta Reservoir, except for excessive flood flows which may have to be spilled, 
will be released from the reservoir through penstocks to the hydroelectric turbines 
in thp nowpr plant. The average annual power output is estimated at about 
1,5°0,000,000 kilowatt hours. 

The reservoir releases will flow down the Sacramento River and provide suffi- 
cient water for the following purposes : 

1. Irrigation of lands now having rights to Sacramento River water between 
Redding and Sacramento. 

2. Maintenance of navigation from Sacramento to Chico Landing and possibly 
to Red Bluff. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 23 

3. Full consumptive demands in the delta and control of salinity. 

4. Domestic, industrial, and irrigation water supply for the Contra Costa County 
area. This supply will be conveyed through the Contra Costa Canal, extending 
from the delta to Martinez. 

5. Substitutional supply for croplands in the northern San Joaquin Valley now 
irrigated from the San Joaquin River. This supply will be conveyed through 
the delta Mendota Canal, extending from the delta to Mendota. 

Shasta Dam has been substantially completed by Bureau of Reclamation at 
a cost of over $100,000,000 and is now generating some power and furnishing some 
irrigation water downstream in the Sacramento Valley. 

Keswick Dam and power plant. — Keswick Dam, located about 8 miles down- 
stream from Shasta Dam is designed chiefly for the purpose of providing an 
afterbay reservoir to reregulate fluctuating releases from Shasta Reservoir in 
order to obtain a uniform flow down the Sacramento River. It also serves in the 
fish-protection measures. It is under construction. 

Delta cross channel. — The delta cross channel is provided for the purpose of 
diverting the waters of the Sacramento River as augmented by releases from 
Shasta Reservoir into the San Joaquin delta channels to provide the water 
required, in part for use in the delta and in part for diversion from the delta 
through the Contra Costa and delta Mendota Canals. The final plans for this 
unit have not been decided upon as yet. 

Contra Costa Canal, — The Contra Costa Canal diverts water from channels of 
the San Joaquin delta at a point east of Antioch and extends about 50 miles to 
the vicinity of Martinez. Water is pumped through this canal by a series of 
pumping plants with an aggregate lift of about 125 feet. As designed by the 
Bureau of Reclamation the canal has a maximum diversion capacity of 350 second- 
feet. It is 85 percent complete and is in service to a small extent. 

Delta Mendota Canal. — The delta Mendota Canal will divert water from the 
San Joaquin delta channels and extend southerly about 150 miles to a point on 
the San Joaquin River near Mendota. The water will be pumped from the delta 
by a series of pumping plants with an aggregate lift of about 200 feet. Con- 
struction not started. 

Friant Dam. — Friant Dam is located on the San Joaquin River about 20 miles 
north of Fresno. This dam, rising to a height of about 300 feet above present 
stream level will create a reservoir with a gross storage capacity of 520,000 
acre-feet. 

By means of the purchase of the rights to San Joaquin River water formerly 
used for irrigation of inferior grasslands and the furnishing of a substitutional 
water supply through the delta Mendota Canal to replace the Ehn Joaquin River 
water now used for the irrigation of croplands, and the appropi iation of surplus 
waters, practically the entire flow of the San Joaquin River can be conserved and 
regulated in Friant Reservoir and the regulated flows diverted through the 
Madera and Friant-Kern Canals to serve the lands in the southern San Joaquin 
Valley extending from Madera County on the north to Kern County on the south. 
The dam proper is substantially complete, with partial gates and outlets. Water 
was stored this year, and partial use is being made of this dam and reservoir. 

Madera Canal. — The Madera Canal diverts from Friant Reservoir and extends 
northerly about 50 miles to serve lands in Madera County. It will have a maxi- 
mum diversion capacity of 1,000 second-feet. Water now being used through 
this canal. 

Friant-Kern Canal, — The Friant-Kern Canal diverts from Friant Reservoir and 
will extend southerly about 160 miles to the Kern River. Plans contemplate a 
maximum diversion capacity of 3,500 second-feet. No construction. 

Auxiliary electric facilities. — The plans for the project provide for main trans- 
mission lines of at least 450,000 kilowatts capacity from Shasta and Keswick power 
plants to transmit the power output therefrom to load centers, and a steam-electric 
plant or plants to firm the hydroelecric power output and provide standby. Noth- 
ing done on Antioch transmission line or steam plant. Power line built to Oroville 
on east side of valley, and power now being delivered to P. G. & E. through this line. 

SUMMARY OF PROGRESS AND PRESENT STATUS OF CONSTRUCTION 

The Bureau of Reclamation started work on the project in November 1935. 
During the first 2 years the work consisted chiefly of final surveys, explorations, 
investigations, and the preparation of final plans and specifications. Additional 
activities were directed to the acquisition of necessary water rights and rights of 
way and realinement of railroads, highways, and other utilities. 



24 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Actual construction was started in 1937 on camp facilities at the Friant and 
Shasta Dam sites. Work on the project works proper was started in October 1937 
with construction of the initial unit of the Contra Costa Canal. Construction 
on Shasta Dam and power plant started in September 1938; on Friant Dam in 
November 1939, and on the Madera Canal in March 1941. 

Construction progress on the project, particularly the irrigation features, began 
to be affected in the latter part of 1941 when application for priorities on materials 
were first denied by the Office of Production Management. This was followed in 
1942 by the denial of applications for priorities by the War Production Board on 
several specific applications covering continuation of construction on Friant Dam 
and the Madera, Friant-Kern, and Contra Costa Canals. As a result work on 
Friant Dam was stopped in the summer of 1942 after the dam had been completed 
as far as concrete work was concerned but before control gates and outlet facilities 
had been installed ; on the Madera Canal after 8 miles of canal were completed, 
and on the Contra Costa Canal when about 85 percent was completed. 

In May 1943 the War Production Board issued an order permitting installation 
of temporary gates in Friant Dam and the completion of the Madera Canal. As 
a result temporary gates were installed in Friant Dam in time to store considerable 
of the spring run-off this year. Contracts have been let and work is under way 
on the entire length of the Madera Canal. 

At the present time the Central Valley project as authorized by Congress 
stands only half completed after the elapse of 9 years since it was originally under- 
taken as a Federal reclamation project to be constructed by the Bureau of Recla- 
mation. Up to date no construction work has been started on the delta cross 
channel, the delta Mendota Canal and the Friant-Kern Canal. The State, through 
the Water Project Authority and "other interests has been endeavoring during the 
past 2 years to secure the War Production Board's approval of the construction 
of the Friant-Kern Canal as a means of increasing food production required for 
war and postwar needs. Congress approved the construction of this canal and 
appropriated funds therefor last year but thus far the War Production Board has 
not given its approval. The water project authority has also urged appropriation 
of additional funds for the units remaining to be completed on the project. 

EXCESS LAND PROVISIONS OF THE RECLAMATION LAWS 

When the Central Valley project was authorized in 1935 and subsequently 
reauthorized by Congress in 1937 as "a Bureau of Reclamation undertaking no 
one having a part in the discussions and actions leading thereto, either from the 
State or Federal Governments, had any idea that the excess land provisions of 
the reclamation law would be applied to the project. It appeared to be recog- 
nized by all that this project was entirely different than a new desert land 
enterprise for which the excess land provisions were originally drafted, and 
that accordingly these provisions either would or should not apply to the project. 
For several years after the project was authorized there was a difference in legal 
opinion as to whether the excess land provision would apply to the project. 
During these early years the Water Projects Authority studied the subject and 
discussed it informally with officials of the Bureau. The necessity of change or 
elimination of this feature of the law as applied to the Central Valley project 
was repeatedly brought to the attention of the Bureau. It was expected by the 
Water Project Authority and others active in the furtherance of the project in 
California that, if it was finally determined that the excess land provisions would 
be legally construed to apply under the terms of authorization of the project, that 
the excess land provisions either would be removed by congressional action as in 
the case of similar projects such as the Colorado Big Thompson project in Colo- 
rado and the Boca Dam project in Nevada, or by executive decision or action 
as in the case of the All-American Canal unit of the Boulder Dam project in 
California. 

As time passed on and no action was taken the Water Project Authority urged 
the Bureau of Reclamation for an early solution. Following discussions at sev- 
eral previous meetings, the Water Project Authority on September 24, 1940, 
adopted a resolution requesting information on the subject from the Secretary 
of the Interior. Copies of this resolution were transmitted to the Secretary 
of the Interior, the Commissioner of Reclamation and other Bureau officials od 
September 30, 1940. A reply was received from the Commissioner of Reclama- 
tion on November 5, 1940, in acknowledgment and stating: 

"The problem raised in the resolution is being studied broadly by the Bureau 
of Reclamation." 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 25 

The records show no further communications were received from the Bureau 
with respect to this matter and no solution was offered by the Bureau nor was 
there any indication that the Bureau intended to eliminate or modify the excess 
Jand provisions as applying to the Central Valley project. In the meantime the 
construction of the project proceeded and Friant and Shasta Reservoirs were 
nearing completion and water service was expected to be available this year. It 
was most desirable if not necessary for prospective water users under the proj- 
ect to know the conditions under which water would be obtained. In view of 
the fact that no remedy had been proposed by the Bureau after the elapse of 8 
years since the project was authorized and the Bureau took charge, the amend- 
ment to the Rivers and Harbors bill was introduced as the solution on behalf of 
the prospective water users of the project. 

The removal of the excess land provisions sought by the amendment to the 
Rivers and Harbors bill was and is opposed by the Bureau of Reclamation of the 
Department of the Interior. Opposition has also been registered by certain indi- 
viduals and organizations in California. 

The views of the Water Project Authority are set forth in a resolution adopted 
hy the Authority on May 2, 1944, as follows : 
' "Now therefore be it resolved by the Water Projects Authority, That — 

"(1) While the Authority approves the purpose and policy of the excess land 
provisions of the Federal Reclamation laws when and where they are properly 
applicable, the Authority believes that it would be harsh, unjust, and unworkable 
to apply such provisions to the great majority of the Central Valley project service 
area ; 

"(2) That water will shortly be available from the project and many interests 
in grave need thereof will not accept supplemental water from the project sub- 
ject to such excess land provisions ; 

"(3) That the Congress should at this session amend the excess land provisions 
•of the Reclamation laws as relating to the Central Valley project in a manner 
responsive to the realities of Central Valley conditions and if no such workable 
amendment to the excess land provisions is available, that such provisions be 
eliminated for Central Valley project, as has been done by Congress in similar 
cases where difficulties of application were not as great as would be the case 
for Central Valley." 

It should be particularly noted that in the third section of the resolution 
it is stated that if no workable amendment to the excess land provisions respon- 
sive to the realities to Central Valley conditions is available, such provisions 
should be eliminated as in the case of similar projects. At the hearings before 
the House Rivers and Harbors Committee, representatives of the Bureau and 
the Department of the Interior indicated that special legislation with respect 
to this matter would be drafted and introduced to fit Central Valley project 
conditions. The proposed legislation apparently referred to was introduced in 
the Senate by Senator Hatch in the form of a bill (S. 1948, 78th Cong., 2d 
sess.) designated as the "Soldier settlement bill." In my opinion this bill does 
not offer a reasonable or workable solution to the problem. An essential weak- 
ness is that it does not even purport to solve the acute problem of disruption 
of the present agricultural economy of the Great Central Valley of California 
which will result from application of the excess land provisions of the Federal 
reclamation laws. Instead of liberalizing the excess land provisions, more 
rigorous enforcement is required than under existing law. The bill would 
merely postpone the date when they would be applied for 4 years, or in the 
discretion of the Secretary, for a further period not exceeding 5 years. Question 
arises whether the larger holdings would be able to liquidate within the maximum 
allowable period, unless the Federal Treasury were available to finance the 
process. 

In lieu of the antispeculation provisions of the Federal reclamation laws, the 
bill substitutes provision for unlimited purchases of land by the United States. 
No solution is proposed to the many objections advanced against application of 
the excess land provisions ; to the break-up of the present well established agri- 
cultural economy ; to the unprecedented problem of underground water storage 
recharge; and the refusal of many of the present organized areas to contract 
for seriously needed supplemental water supplies. The bill would appear to 
authorize a colonization plan of unprecedented proportions. 

The power of the Secretary to refuse to deliver water until the restrictive 
provisions of the bill were accepted, might well induce many landowners to 
accept the conditions against their will, thereby authorizing a form of eco- 



24 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Actual construction was started in 1937 on camp facilities at the Friant and 
Shasta Dam sites. Work on the project works proper was started in October 1937 
with construction of the initial unit of the Contra Costa Canal. Construction 
on Shasta Dam and power plant started in September 1938; on Friant Dam in 
November 1939, and on the Madera Canal in March 1941. 

Construction progress on the project, particularly the irrigation features, began 
to be affected in the latter part of 1941 when application for priorities on materials 
were first denied by the Office of Production Management. This was followed in 
1942 by the denial of applications for priorities by the War Production Board on 
several specific applications covering continuation of construction on Friant Dam 
and the Madera, Friant-Kern, and Contra Costa Canals. As a result work on 
Friant Dam was stopped in the summer of 1942 after the dam had been completed 
as far as concrete work was concerned but before control gates and outlet facilities 
had been installed ; on the Madera Canal after 8 miles of canal were completed, 
and on the Contra Costa Canal when about 85 percent was completed. 

In May 1943 the War Production Board issued an order permitting installation 
of temporary gates in Friant Dam and the completion of the Madera Canal. As 
a result temporary gates were installed in Friant Dam in time to store considerable 
of the spring run-off this year. Contracts have been let and work is under way 
on the entire length of the Madera Canal. 

At the present time the Central Valley project as authorized by Congress 
stands only half completed after the elapse of 9 years since it was originally under- 
taken as a Federal reclamation project to be constructed by the Bureau of Recla- 
mation. Up to date no construction work has been started on the delta cross 
channel, the delta Mendota Canal and the Friant-Kern Canal. The State, through 
the Water Project Authority and other interests has been endeavoring during the 
past 2 years to secure the War Production Board's approval of the construction 
of the Friant-Kern Canal as a means of increasing food production required for 
war and postwar needs. Congress approved the construction of this canal and 
appropriated funds therefor last year but thus far the War Production Board has 
not given its approval. The water project authority has also urged appropriation 
of additional funds for the units remaining to be completed on the project. 

EXCESS LAND PROVISIONS OF THE RECLAMATION LAWS 

When the Central Valley project was authorized in 1935 and subsequently 
reauthorized by Congress in 1937 as a Bureau of Reclamation undertaking no 
one having a part in the discussions and actions leading thereto, either from the 
State or Federal Governments, had any idea that the excess land provisions of 
the reclamation law would be applied to the project. It appeared to be recog- 
nized by all that this project was entirely different than a new desert land 
enterprise for which the excess land provisions were originally drafted, and 
that accordingly these provisions either would or should not apply to the project. 
For several years after the project was authorized there was a difference in legal 
opinion as to whether the excess land provision would apply to the project. 
During these early years the Water Projects Authority studied the subject and 
discussed it informally with officials of the Bureau. The necessity of change or 
elimination of this feature of the law as applied to the Central Valley project 
was repeatedly brought to the attention of the Bureau. It was expected by the 
Water Project Authority and others active in the furtherance of the project in 
California that, if it was finally determined that the excess land provisions would 
be legally construed to apply under the terms of authorization of the project, that 
the excess land provisions either would be removed by congressional action as in 
the case of similar projects such as the Colorado Big Thompson project in Colo- 
rado and the Boca Dam project in Nevada, or by executive decision or action 
as in the case of the Ail-American Canal unit of the Boulder Dam project in 
California. 

As time passed on and no action was taken the Water Project Authority urged 
the Bureau of Reclamation for an early solution. Following discussions at sev- 
eral previous meetings, the Water Project Authority on September 24, 1940, 
adopted a resolution requesting information on the subject from the Secretary 
of the Interior. Copies of this resolution were transmitted to the Secretary 
of the Interior, the Commissioner of Reclamation and other Bureau officials on 
September 30, 1940. A reply was received from the Commissioner of Reclama- 
tion on November 5, 1940, in acknowledgment and stating: 

"The problem raised in the resolution is being studied broadly by the Bureau 
of Reclamation." 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 25 

The records show no further communications were received from the Bureau 
with respect to this matter and no solution was offered by the Bureau nor was 
there any indication that the Bureau intended to eliminate or modify the excess 
jand provisions as applying to the Central Valley project. In the meantime the 
construction of the project proceeded and Friant and Shasta Reservoirs were 
nearing completion and water service was expected to be available this year. It 
was most desirable if not necessary for prospective water users under the proj- 
•ect to know the conditions under which water would be obtained. In view of 
the fact that no remedy had been proposed by the Bureau after the elapse of 8 
years since the project was authorized and the Bureau took charge, the amend- 
ment to the Rivers and Harbors bill was introduced as the solution on behalf of 
the prospective water users of the project. 

The removal of the excess land provisions sought by the amendment to the 
Rivers and Harbors bill was and is opposed by the Bureau of Reclamation of the 
Department of the Interior. Opposition has also been registered by certain indi- 
viduals and organizations in California. 

The views of the Water Project Authority are set forth in a resolution adopted 
hy the Authority on May 2, 1944, as follows : 

"Now therefore be it resolved by the Water Projects Authority, That — 

"(1) While the Authority approves the purpose and policy of the excess land 
provisions of the Federal Reclamation laws when and where they are properly 
applicable, the Authority believes that it would be harsh, unjust, and unworkable 
to apply such provisions to the great majority of the Central Valley project service 
area ; 

"(2) That water will shortly be available from the project and many interests 
in grave need thereof will not accept supplemental water from the project sub- 
ject to such excess land provisions ; 

"(3) That the Congress should at this session amend the excess land provisions 
•of the Reclamation laws as relating to the Central Valley project in a manner 
responsive to the realities of Central Valley conditions and if no such workable 
amendment to the excess land provisions is available, that such provisions be 
eliminated for Central Valley project, as has been done by Congress in similar 
cases where difficulties of application were not as great as would be the case 
for Central Valley." 

It should be particularly noted that in the third section of the resolution 
it is stated that if no workable amendment to the excess land provisions respon- 
sive to the realities to Central Valley conditions is available, such provisions 
should be eliminated as in the case of similar projects. At the hearings before 
the House Rivers and Harbors Committee, representatives of the Bureau and 
the Department of the Interior indicated that special legislation with respect 
to this matter would be drafted and introduced to fit Central Valley project 
conditions. The proposed legislation apparently referred to was introduced in 
the Senate by Senator Hatch in the form of a bill (S. 1948, 78th Cong., 2d 
sess.) designated as the "Soldier settlement bill." In my opinion this bill does 
not offer a reasonable or workable solution to the problem. An essential weak- 
ness is that it does not even purport to solve the acute problem of disruption 
of the present agricultural economy of the Great Central Valley of California 
which will result from application of the excess land provisions of the Federal 
reclamation laws. Instead of liberalizing the excess land provisions, more 
rigorous enforcement is required than under existing law. The bill would 
merely postpone the date when they would be applied for 4 years, or in the 
discretion of the Secretary, for a further period not exceeding 5 years. Question 
arises whether the larger holdings would be able to liquidate within the maximum 
allowable period, unless the Federal Treasury were available to finance the 
process. 

In lieu of the antispeculation provisions of the Federal reclamation laws, the 
bill substitutes provision for unlimited purchases of land by the United States. 
No solution is proposed to the many objections advanced against application of 
the excess land provisions; to the break-up of the present well established agri- 
cultural economy ; to the unprecedented problem of underground water storage 
recharge; and the refusal of many of the present organized areas to contract 
for seriously needed supplemental water supplies. The bill would appear to 
authorize a colonization plan of unprecedented proportions. 

The power of the Secretary to refuse to deliver water until the restrictive 
provisions of the bill were accepted, might well induce many landowners to 
accept the conditions against their will, thereby authorizing a form of eco- 



26 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

nomic coercion. Very probably others not under such pressing necessity for addi- 
tional water supplies, would refuse to accept the conditions. Under the bill 
the Secretary could buy these lands unless the landowner refused, in which 
event condemnation could be resorted to. Condemnation in aid of project pur- 
poses is authorized by the act of August 26, 1937 (54 stat. 1198, 1199), authorizing: 
the project. 

There is no objection to the working out of proper plans and provisions for 
soldier settlement in the Central Valley area but there does not appear to be 
any reasonable purpose in tieing in such plans and provisions with a program 
of land restrictions in any form whatsoever. In view of the fact that no 
workable solution has been offered the conclusion is reached that the only proper 
solution would be the enactment of legislation by Congress eliminating the appli- 
cation of the excess land provisions to the Central Valley project. Any further 
delay in this matter is not warranted and legislation should be enacted by the 
Congress at the present session substantially equivalent to the amendment con- 
tained in section 4 of the Rivers and Harbors bill as passed by the House of 
Representatives. 

Mr. Hyatt. Now, the matter, of course, was not settled as has been 
previously explained but in 1945, there was further action on it and 
the Water Project Authority directed a thorough investigation. That 
investigation was made covering several months. However, it was 
not a field investigation. It was an office study and I have that here 
and I would like to comment on it very briefly and file it for in- 
formation. 

Senator Ecton. Who did you say made that study ? 

Mr. Hyatt. The Water Project Authority. That is the State body 
having charge. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Hyatt, before you leave the question of your 
correspondence and negotiations with the Bureau of Reclamation, have 
you ever received a letter or communication from any of the repre- 
sentatives of the Bureau telling you, as the head of the Water Project 
Authoritv, how their representatives believed this law could be worked 
out? 

Mr. Hyatt. Oh, no, sir ; I have never. No ; I have not. 

Senator Downey. Well, by resolution back in 1940, you asked 
them 

Mr. Hyatt. That is right. 

Senator Downey. To explain what their solution was; how this 
could be worked out. 

Mr. Hyatt. That is right. 

Senator Downey. And you never yet, up to 1947, have had them 
give you any explanation in writing, have you, as to how this can 
be worked out ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Senator, I have not. There were certain bills intro- 
duced which I assume they thought would work out or they would 
not have introduced them but they very quickly were abandoned. 

Senator Downey. Those bills were abandoned surely, but I mean 
have they ever communicated with you officially and said, "My dear 
Mr. Hyatt, this is the way we believe this could be worked out"? 

Mr. Hyatt. Neither officially nor unoffically. I have never heard 
any explanation how it could be worked out. 

Senator Watkins. Mr. Hyatt, Senator Downey referred to a number 
of plans advanced by the Bureau and abandoned, one after the other. 
Did you not get any word of them ? 

Mr. Hyatt. I just said they introduced those bills and I saw the 
bills, but I did not think they would work and I told them so and 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 27 

they were later abandoned. Now, they have the thought it would 
work. They must have or 

Senator Watkixs (interposing). Have you not had negotiations 
from time to time to work out some plans? 

Mr. Hyatt. Yes, sir; we are very close to them. We are helping 
them all we can in any way. 

Senator Watkixs. Did' they not submit to you some of the plans 
before they got in the form of bills ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Yes ; they have at times but they would not work. We 
did not think they would work, and they were not too confident of it 
either. They were efforts, I will say that, and we discussed many 
other things that they would not agree to or that we would not 
agree to. 

Senator Watkixs. You understand, of course, that what we have 
before us is legislation to attempt to exempt or to make an exception 
of these three projects. 

Mr. Hyatt. That is right. 

Senator Watkixs. It might be wise for the committee to know 
something about any other program that might be adopted instead of 
this, so we would be advised fully in the steps we are taking with 
respect to this proposed legislation. 

Mr. Hyatt. Well. Senator, you notice in this resolution I read of 
the Water Project Authority of California, they start right out with 
saying that they approve of the policy where it is applicable but that 
after their investigations they find that it is unjust and harsh and 
unworkable. That was their position. 

Xow, over the past many years, the Authority has investigated this 
thing and it is certainly well advised as to California conditions. It 
consists of three constitutional officers and two appointive officers, the 
Attorney General and the State treasurer, and the State comptroller 
and directors of the departments of finance and public works, who are 
certainly very competent officials and that body has been financed by 
State appropriations and fairly adequately financed and have put a 
great deal of time in on trying to find a solution. 

Senator Watkixs. Is there not rather strong feeling in the valley 
itself that the limitation clause will work if given an opportunity i 

Mr. Hyatt. I have not found that feeling— .-among operators of 
water projects or people who had to do with operations. The labor 
unions, yes ; who are living in the cities, and know very little about the 
problems and many other organizations. There are many people in 
the valley that are for it but I would say the vast majority of the 
people who are affected are against it. 

Senator Watkixs. I have received considerable mail from people 
in the valley. 

Mr. Hyatt. From anyone who would be affected. Senator? 

Senator Watkixs. I do not know whether they are affected or not : 
they seemed to be very much in earnest about what they are writing 
about, judging by the language they used. 

Mr. Hyatt. Of course, there has been a great deal of public atten- 
tion and consideration all the way through, but, I am trying to present 
the facts here, Senator, and these investigations we made are to 
develop the facts from which they have reached certain conclusions. 



28 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Watkins. What I am trying to find out is if these people 
are talking purely on sentiment or do they have any counterplans 
that could be laid before the committee? I presume they will take 
care of it but I wondered if you know anything about such a plan. 

Mr. Hyatt. You mean some kind of compromise? 

Senator Watkins. Yes ; some kind of plan that could be laid before 
the committee that you might now give us your considered judg- 
ment on. 

Mr. Hyatt. I can say I have heard no plan advanced from those 
sources. We ourselves worked on a dozen things at one time or another 
and have abandoned them all. They have such difficulties of admin- 
istration and so forth. I would have been delighted to have the same 
thing that was done for Colorado project, but the difficulties in the 
Central Valley are vastly greater than those where Congress has 
already given relief. 

Senator Watkins. Big Thompson ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Yes; and the Nevada project. I do not know whether 
it exists there on the ground water problem but we have 30,000 wells 
in this one area, and certainly we have not overlooked any opportunity 
to try to find a solution and we are not at this moment representing 
that it be lifted for the State of California. Just this one project, we 
are talking about, because it is a supplemental water project. 

Now, Mr. Chairman, I think I had better get back on my particular 
subject here. 

Senator McFakland. Before you get back, Mr. Hyatt, if I may, I 
would like to get one or two factors cleared. 

You spoke of the deep pumping there. Generally speaking, where 
the lands are irrigated from pumping, how many acres are irrigated 
from one of those deep wells ? 

Mr. Hyatt. A very large well and a deep one will irrigate a section 
perhaps or maybe a thousand acres. 

Senator McFakland. When the lift is greater is that where you find 
the larger farming operations ? 

Mr. Hyatt. I think that is correct; yes, sir. 

Senator McFarland. Now, in this 100-acre limitation, I am wonder- 
ing, does the project take over those wells? I mean under this plan? 
What does the project do? Do they take over the wells or how is 
that going to be operated? I should remember but I have forgotten. 

Mr. Hyatt. It is not worked out, Senator, I must correct myself a 
little bit. Speaking of the great wells and the very deep wells, they 
are largely not within this project; they are largely through the West 
in the projects where the big undeveloped landholdings are. 

The project itself is intensively developed and those wells there are 
smaller wells, and in some places probably each individual farmer 
has a well of his own. He may only handle 10 acres from it but he 
has it right there and he can turn on his pump whenever he wants 
to and that is a great satisfaction to him. 

Senator McFakland. The point I was trying to get at was that from 
my observation in Arizona sometimes, especially where you irrigate 
from wells that have a deep lift, it is hard to develop a well which will 
just irrigate 160 acres. 

Now, if your project is going to take over those wells and have them 
run by the project, I would not think it would make any difference. 
But if they are still going to be owned by individuals, I would think 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 29 

that you would still have quite a little problem in a man owning 160 
acres and having one of those wells. How much did you say it cost, 
$12,000? ' 

Mr. Hyatt. $15,000, $20,000, or $25,000. 

Senator McFarland. $15,000 to $25,000, that would present a prob- 
lem and that is the question I think should be answered as to what 
would happen, as to how you expect to develop the projects, as to 
whether the wells are going to be taken over by the project and 
run by the project or whether the wells are going to be run by individ- 
uals. I would think that would be important. 

Mr. Hyatt. Senator, I do not think there has been any thought 
given to taking over those wells. That is in the hands of the Bureau, 
and they should answer it but I cannot conceive of any governmental 
agency taking over 30,000 wells and operating them. It just does not 
look reasonable. I do not think that is in contemplation at all. 

Senator McFarland. They have, in one project of ours, in Arizona, 
the San Carlos project. They operate the wells. 

Mr. Hyatt. Yes. 

Senator McFarland. But I think it would be very important in 
your problem here. 

Mr. Hyatt. I have not heard that discussed at all, and it is true that 
the very large wells that I was talking about are not within this project, 
but there are some large wells in this project of course. 

Senator McFarland. Those are the wells where you irrigate as much 
as a section ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Yes. 

Senator McFarland. Outside of the project? 

Mr. Hyatt. There may be some inside the project, and maybe not, 
but this stuff outside the project, I understand they operated 24 hours 
a day, 365 days a year, and they got a power rate that is much less than 
anything we ever dreamed of getting for pumping water. 

Senator McFarland. What is the largest number of acres irrigated 
from a well within the project? 

Mr. Hyatt. I do not believe I should answer that. There may be 
wells that irrigate a section. Likely, there are, but perhaps somebody 
here from the Bureau can give that better than I can. 

Senator McFarland. Are there any number that irrigate over 160 
acres ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Oh, there must be. The matter of water supply is the 
same as anything else. They get all they can from that particular 
well. 

But, from the vast number of wells and difficulties, it looks to me 
to be a very difficult* problem for any supervisory agency to take over 
the operation of those now privately owned wells. 

Senator McFarland. When you put the gravity water on, then the 
well will become a supplemental water supply ? How do you expect to 
operate that ? 

Mr. Hyatt. There will be all kinds of conditions, Senator. A given 
irrigation district will figure out its own problem. In some places 
right now the districts do not have pumps. The individual pumps it 
out and pays tax because he knows the district will keep the water 
there in the ground. 

62453—47 3 



30 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator McFarland. I understand the way the project is to be 
developed that the Federal Government is going to sell the water in 
the various irrigation districts. 

Mr. Hyatt. That is right. 

Senator McFarland. I will not ask any more questions. 

Mr. Hyatt. The district will operate the service or it may recharge 
the ground water. Anyway, it gets the water and pays the money. 
That is the theory of it. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, if I might intervene with a com- 
ment, attempting to answer the question of Senator McFarland, so 
far as I know, no consideration has ever been given to an arrangement 
under which the irrigation districts would take over the individual 
pumping plants of the owners in the district. The claim has been 
made that the only way the district could prevent an excess land- 
owner from pumping would be to condemn his pumping plant and 
his underground supply because ground water is a property right in 
California. 

For all practical purposes I see no possible way by which the district 
could take a pumping plant away from the excess landowner and pre- 
vent him from pumping. I think the Bureau of Reclamation's attor- 
neys themselves, and all other attorneys, agree that in California the 
overlying property owner has a vested right in his underground water 
and that no public agency can prevent him from pumping although 
they might control pumping among adjoining landowners if a dispute 
should arise. But the}' cannot take away the right to pump except 
by condemnation and the payment of damages. 

Senator McFarland. I was not trying to advocate any plan ; I was 
just trying to develop the facts. 

Senator Downey. I understand. 

Senator McFarland. When you have a well irrigating 320 acres, it 
might become important. 

Senator Butler. Mr. Chairman, just to clarify the matter in my 
own mind, I think I understood Mr. Hyatt to say that this project was 
under some program of development, 8 or 10 years before reclamation 
came into the picture. 

Mr. Hyatt. Under investigation and planning ; yes, sir. 

Senator Butler. Created by a State authority of some sort? 

Mr. Hyatt. Yes, sir. 

Senator Butler. And, during that time, were there any restrictions 
as to acreage at all? 

Mr. Hyatt. No. 

Senator Butler. And, the question of acreage limitation arose after 
reclamation became interested in the project? 

Mr. Hyatt. That is right. 

Senator Butler. And at the time reclamation became interested 
in the project, was that a matter for discussion at all? 

Mr. Hyatt. Not for several years after that. For the first 3 or 4 
years on, nobody paid any attention to it. They did not think it 
applied to this kind of project. 

You see the project is a little peculiar. It was authorized for navi- 
gation and flood control. I have heard the opinion expressed by 
Bureau officials that it would not apply but I do not have anything in 
writing and I do not want to give any names. But I was told that, 
many times back in those years everybody else has been too, and I do 
not think there is any on it. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 31 

Senator Butler. This was a flood-control project to some extent? 

Mr. Hyatt. Navigation primarily. The authorization is for river 
regulation first, and then for irrigation and finally for power as a 
means of financially aiding the other undertaking. That is what 
Congress said about it. 

' Senator Butler. At the time you got your first assistance, it was 
evidently the result of an Executive order ? 

Mr. Hyatt. That is right. 

Senator Butler. There certainly were no limitations or restrictions 
placed on that . 

Mr. Hyatt. I think there were. Senator. This paper I have here 
says it was an Executive order; it says the work was to be done by the 
Reclamation Bureau under the Reclamation laws. That does not 
check with what Mr. Straus said, and without the authorization, I 
could not tell which was right — without the Executive order. 

Senator Butler. That is all. Senator. 

Mr. Hyatt. I do not know that it makes any difference. It is a 
minor point. 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead. 

Mr. Hyatt. I was developing the record of the State Water Project 
Authority here for the committee and I had gotten down to the in- 
vestigation report made in the fall of 1945, the subject being a very 
live issue in California. There are resolutions passed by the legis- 
lature at times and there are numerous representations made to this 
Authority which meets monthly. 

In any event, they directed this investigation and it was made, and 
a factual report here with a number of conclusions was rendered which 
I will file for the committee's information, but I do not think it needs 
to be introduced in the record. 

Senator Watkins. You mentioned the legislature. Has the legis- 
lature passed any memorial with respect to this matter directed to the 
Congress ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Well. I think they have but I do not have a copy of it, 
and perhaps other witnesses can testify on that. 

Senator Watkins. Senator Downey, can you tell us ? I wonder how 
the people through their legislature feel about this in California ? 

Senator Dow t ney. I do not believe we have had any communication 
from the legislature this year. 

Mr. Hyatt. I had in mind that there had been a resolution taken 
but I am not sure. 

Mr. Straus. There are members of the legislature here if you want 
to inquire about that. 

Senator Watkins. Usually we get them in the record. 

Mr. Hyatt. Mr. Chairman, we will send you any resolution that 
has been passed. 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead. 

Mr. Hyatt. This report is here. I will not attempt to go into it 
at any length. It discusses the regions affected and there is a lot of 
data on size of holdings which we obtained, but I will not go into 
that because I think what we have now is much better and certainly is 
later. 

It goes into the past history and gives some space to the argument 
in favor of the limitation and the argument against it, and then it 
discusses certain arguments against the provisions under five head- 



34 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

the compilation for that county. Also, no lands were considered or 
included in the survey outside the areas delineated on the accompany- 
ing map. In other words, the segregations set forth in the accompany- 
ing table are controlled by the county boundaries and the survey areas 
within each county. This search of the records of the county tax col- 
lectors shows that in the areas surveyed, there was, as of March 1, 1946, 
95,680 individual holdings for the total gross area of 2.362,438 acres. 

That includes some small towns and one thing and another. It is 
a large figure of 95,680 owners. 

Xow. then, I have mentioned maps which are over there and on 
which a great deal of time and effort was spent for this entire 2,300,000 
acres actual holdings, with the names on them on the maps in three 
colors, the size of the holdings and all tabulated here in tables which 
would be more to the point, and they contain these ground- water con- 
tours which is a very important part of the picture, and finally the 
tracing overlay which shows what part of these lands are irrigated, 
because that is valuable in telling what the character of the land is. 

A large part of the big land holdings is not irrigated because it is 
very poor land. It is alkali or seeped out. People do not live on a 
lot of it at all, and much of that is large ownership. 

This map showing the irrigated lands will bring that out. So, that 
is a very excellent fund of information in that map. 

Senator Ectox. There is nothing in the reclamation laws, is there, 
Mr. H/yatt, that prevents any man from owning any number of acres, 
just so long as he does not have water for it? 

Mr. Hyatt. I think that is right. 

Senator Ectox. So, this alkali land or waste land, for all practical 
purposes, would not even enter into it \ 

Mr. Hyatt. Well, a lot of these big holdings we hear so much about 
are of that character, Senator. Some of them are anyhow. 

Senator Watkixs. Did you ever determine the percentage? 

Mr. Hyatt. No; you cannot get at that. We tried to do it. You 
have to have a soil survey and a crop survey. We took a survey of 
irrigated land and more or less assumed that the best land was 
irrigated. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, I might intervene to furnish 
exactly the information that Senator Watkins wanted from the survey 
of the Bureau of Reclamation. 

Xoav, the Bureau of Reclamation made a selective survey of 619,000 
acres as compared with something over 3,000,000 by the State water 
authority. This survey covers an area lying down in the southern 
San Joaquin and consists of land principally in certain water dis- 
tricts which are given here. 

Now, this survey of the Bureau of Reclamation in this 619,000 acres 
shows 9,366 owners. That is the figure on the left column at the bottom. 
With 619,000 acres that is an average, I think, of about 66 acres for 
each holder. 

Now. if we come over to what we term the excess land, the next to 
the last column, 23 percent of the total area is in what the Bureau 
defines as excess lands. Now, they define as excess lands anything more 
than 160 acres owned by a corporation or a single man or anything 
more than 320 acres owned by a married man. we having community 
property rights in California, and the Bureau of Reclamation there 
allowing an exemption of 320 acres to a married man. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 



35 



Consequently, on this whole area which I might say, in my opinion, 
is larger than the average, the Bureau of Reclamation has found 
there is only 23 percent excess holdings. 

Now, the number of excess owners, the fourth column from the left, 
is 284. The number of acres, excess acres, is 142,000 which is about an 
average of 500 acres on each excess parcel. That is not of the whole 
but of those who own more than the amount, the excess holdings. It 
averages about 500 acres. 

Now, what I wanted to say in answer to the Senator was that the 
last district here 

Senator Ecton. The Chair is declaring a recess for 15 minutes. 
There is a vote coming up in the Senate and they are desirous that the 
Members of the Senate be present. We will reconvene as soon as this 
vote is over in the Senate. 

(Whereupon a short recess was taken.) 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, I was about to place in the record 
a table that has been prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation and fur- 
nished me by its officials, showing landownerships and excess lands in 
irrigation districts in the Central Valley. I have heretofore been 
describing it and I would now ask to have it made part of my statement. 

Senator Ecton. All right ; it will be accepted and attached and be 
made part of the record. 

(The document referred to is as follows :) 



•Central Valley project, California (excluding grasslands, individual interim 
contractors, and Aliso Water Association) — Distribution by ivater users' or- 
ganizations of number of ownerships and acreage for the total area; the num- 
ber of oivnerships, total acreage, and exempt acreage of holdings over 160 
acres; and the number of ownerships and the acreage held in excess of land 
limitations 



Water users' organization 



lit 



Contra Costa County Water Dis- 
trict 

Arvin Edison Water Storage Dis- 
trict 

Vandalia Irrigation District 

Terra Bella Irrigation District 

Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District. 

Exeter Irrigation District 

Stone Corral Irrigation District 

(proposed) 

Tulare Irrigation District 

Southern San Joaquin Municipal 

Utility District 

Orange Cove Irrigation District..-. 

Sausalito Irrigation District 

Lindsay-Strathmore Irrigation Dis- 
trict 

Delano-Earlimart Irrigation Dis- 
trict 

Lindmore Irrigation District 

Tranquility Irrigation District 

James Irrigation District 

Madera Irrigation District 

Round Valley Irrigation District 
(proposed).. 



Total 9,366 619 



Total area 



1,001 

923 
36 
509 
550 



60 
751 

531 
546 
121 

345 

385 

870 

89 

95 

2,099 

17 



■" Q. 
3 O w 



22, 304 

123,317 

1,306 

12,285 

37, 445 

11,711 

5,020 
33,237 

55, 533 
27, 301 



15, 170 

44, 016 

28, 659 

9,744 

18, 666 

164, 369 



637 



Holdings over 160 acres 



50 
20 
16 
35 
181' 



6,492 

81,014 
191 

6,081 
14, 835 

2,455 

2,643 
13, 157 

25, 959 
9,358 
4,691 



26, 927 

5,561 

5,311 

13, 794 

82, 245 






306, 652 



2,846 

28, 106 

160 

5,999 

6,238 

1,225 

1,343 
8,776 

17, 972 
5,753 
3,449 

5,877 

12, 986 
4,593 
3,990 
9,211 

45,506 



164, 030 



Excess land 






284 



3,646 

52,908 

31 

82 

8,597 

1,230 

1,300 
4,381 

7,987 
3,605 
1,242 

61 

13, 941 

968 

1,321 

4,583 

36, 739 



142, 622 



16.35 

42.90 

2.37 

.67 

22.96 

10.50 

25.90 
13.18 

14.38 
13.20 
13.85 

.40 

31.67 
3.38 
13.56 
24.55 
22.35 



23.00 



Q 



2.56 

37.10 

.02 

.06 

6. 03 

.86 

.91 
3.07 

5.60 
2.53 

.87 

.04 

9.77 
.68 
.93 

3.21 
25.76 



100.00 



i Includes acreage in estates in probate less than 2 years, up to 160 acres per individual in each ownership 
and land under public ownershiD or control. 



36 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Downey. I want to make this point in connection with 
Senator Butler's last question to Mr. Hyatt as to the type of land 
that was probably involved in excess acreage that shows up on his 
survey. 

We expect to present before this committee a specific survey of two 
or three of the Central Valley's irrigation districts — one of them the 
Madera district, the largest district in that area. It is also what I 
might call a typical district. 

The Madera district shows a total of 164,000 acres of land with 
almost 37,000 acres of excess land or about 22 percent in the excess 
category. 

At some later time, we will show that of that 37,000 acres of excess 
land, 22,000 acres is, because of location, topography, or soil condi- 
tions, not first-class land and generally is dry farmed to grain. So 
that the Madera, at least the overwhelming proportion of its excess 
land, is not suitable for small homesteads and it would be ruinous to 
try to attach any limitation to it. 

Mr. Hyatt. Shall I proceed ? 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead, Mr. Hyatt. 

Mr. Hyatt. Mr. Chairman, I was commenting on this report, this 
later report which the Authority has prepared, particularly for this 
hearing and commented on the data we obtained and during the recess 
one of the Senators told me that this should be explained in more detail. 

I would like to explain one sheet here a little bit more. This is down 
by Tulare County, down in the center of the valley. It happens to 
contain some of the area which has the deepest wells — that is, the 
greatest distance of water — because it runs up to 150. I thought it 
went deeper but anyway you can see from the map. 

The black dots are houses, buildings. The roads show and the rail- 
roads. Power lines, .telephones, and so forth do not show. Towns 
show. Then, in these three colors, it shows the size of land ownership. 

Now, on another set of maps the actual names are given but this one 
contains so much other data that you could not put the names on it. 

Now, this large yellow area through here, as I just happen to know 
on this particular sheet, is very poor land. Here is a large town of 
Visalia. These records are obtained from the county records and 
checked up and the actual names are over there. 

And then, finally, additions were made as to the depth of the ground 
water shown by the blue lines and the irrigated lands shown by the 
tracing in green. That shows up your point, Senator Downey, pretty 
well. This land that is not irrigated is also yellow underneath, show- 
ing over 320 acres. That has been done for the entire valley, which is 
this entire bunch of sheets here for the 3,000,000, and yields a tabula- 
tion which is, I think, very valuable, not that it shows what one's side 
or the other's controversy is but it does present accurate and complete 
information. We will be glad to submit to the Bureau of Reclamation 
the sheets, and if they draw different conclusions that is their business, 
but the data was selected simply for data purposes and for information 
purposes. 

It was selected and tabulated in this report here of which I had 
copies to give out, but the audience has apparently appropriated in 
the meantime. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 37 

The total area surveyed, unincorporated area, was 3,342,000 acres. 
The number of holdings of the unincorporated area was 72,000. 

Then, the number of holdings in this 3,000,000, the number of 
ownerships in excess of 160 acres is 1,907, and in excess of 320 acres, 
926. 

Now, the area of land in acres in excess. Now, that is beyond the 
160 or the 320. The number of acres in addition to the 160 or 320 
that is allowable is 841,000 over 160 acres and 648,000 over 320. 

For this particular 2,000,000 acres, the percent of the lands in 
excess of holdings of 160, acres is 35 percent and over 320 acres, is 
27 percent. 

Now, irrigated lands — of course whether they are irrigated or not 
is quite an important factor, because if they are irrigated, they now 
are using water and are perhaps customers for more water. In 
excess of 160 acres of holdings, presently irrigated, 550,000 acres. 
In excess of 320 acres, 438,000 acres. 

Now, I will reiterate what I said sometime earlier about the depth 
of ground water. That has been totalled up for the entire 2,000,000. 

Senator Butler. Mr. Hyatt, are these figures as of the present 
time ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Yes, sir ; within the last 2 or 3 months. 

Senator Butler. Comparatively recent? 

Mr. Hyatt. Yes ; recent figures. 

Senator Butler. Did you ever have such a report for any time 
in the past? 

Mr. Hyatt. Well, as to some figures, yes. We know the depth of 
ground water. 

Senator Butler. I am referring to the acreage figures. 

Mr. Hyatt. Acreage? 

Senator Butler. Population. 
. Mr. Hyatt. We do^not have that figure. 

Senator Butler. The reason I asked is I think if you had a chart 
of that kind you would find out that the average acreage per owner 
gradually decreases in an irrigated area. 

Mr. Hyatt. There may be other witnesses more qualified to talk 
on that. I am sure myself that is the case. I know personally that 
Millard Lux owned 600,000 acres, and he only owns about 12,000 
now. And, many of the large holdings are backing up. And, I do 
not have any records on it but perhaps some other witness does have 
but I do not. 

Just touching on the ground water again, I point out that of 
this 2,000,000 surveyed, 80 percent of it is 100 feet or less to ground 
water and runs on up to above 300 feet. 

Now, this report has a section on legal considerations with some 
interesting conclusions, and I will devote a minute to that. This is 
by the attorney for the Authority and the man who has been recog- 
nized as an authority on this subject for many years. 

He says the project was authorized for construction and operation 
by the Secretary of the Interior, not under the Reclamation laws 
but for navigation and flood control under the Commerce clause. 
In so authorizing the project, the Congress provided that construc- 
tion and operation of the project work and the repayment of expendi- 
tures should be governed by the Reclamation law. By that reference 



38 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

to the Reclamation law, it is believed that the Congress did not intend 
to include the excess land provisions thereof but merely intended to 
provide for the return to the Federal Treasury of the reimbursable 
project cost by means of contracts with project beneficiaries. 

I am not stating the point but that is the attorney's opinion. Sec- 
end, even though it be assumed that the Congress did intend by the 
reference to the Reclamation law, to include the excess land provi- 
sions, the Federal law is dependent, for operative effect upon state 
law, and under the law of this State, there is grave doubt that the 
excess land provisions can be enforced. To determine the validity 
of these provisions under State law would require expensive and pro- 
tracted litigation. 

That is a rather mild opinion. Other attorneys say it cannot be 
enforced. 

Third, the form of contracts offered to districts for delivery of 
water from the project is not a repayment contract under the Federal 
Reclamation law, but a term contract for water rental, and, under 
the terms of the Reclamation law, the excess lands provisions are not 
applicable to term contracts. It, therefore, follows that under the 
provisions of the presently proposed water rental contracts, provi- 
sions for enforcement of the excess land provisions have no proper 
place. 

I have no comment to offer on that at all. It is a legal opinion. 

Fourth, the concluding point has apparently never been ques- 
tioned — where a land owner pumps water from underground and 
project water will be used to replenish the underground strata from 
which the land owner extracts water, the excess land provisions can- 
not be enforced against the land owner. This method of water de- 
livery will and must be so widely utilized that it would be unjust and 
discriminatory to apply the excess land provisions to any part of the 
project's serviced area. ' 

That is a very important point that I think will be brought out by 
further witnesses. 

Now, Water Authority took similar action last November on the 
report I mentioned and likewise on this last report. This report I 
am now discussing then reiterates the conclusions of the report of a 
year ago November and recommends : 

It is recommended that S. 912 or other legislation which would exempt the 
Central Valley Project from the application of the excess land provisions of 
the Federal Reclamation law, be enacted by the Eightieth Congress, first session. 

I think that completes my material, Mr. Chairman. 

(The document the witness had been referring to is as follows :) 

Water Project Authority of the State of California 

resolution adopted by the water project authority at special meeting held on 

february 5, 194 7 

Whereas on November 7, 1945, the Water Project Authority of the State of 
California, approved a report entitled "Application of Excess Land Provisions of 
Federal Reclamation Law to Central Valley Project," dated October 1945, as 
submitted by the State division of water resources, including the recommendations 
that: 

"(1) Special legislation be enacted by the Seventy-ninth Congress exempting 
the Central Valley project from the application of the excess land provisions of 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 39 

the Federal reclamation law, including land acreage limitation and antispecula- 
tion features thereof; or (2) general legislation be enacted by the Seventy -ninth 
Congress which would accomplish the same objective; and (3) that S. 395, pending 
before the Seventy-ninth Congress be opposed so far as the provisions thereof 
relate to the application of the excess land provisions of the Federal reclamation 
law to the Central Valley project." 

Whereas bills have been introduced in the Eightieth Congress, first session, 
which would exempt the Central Valley project, California, from the application 
of the excess land provisions of the Federal reclamation law : Now, therefore, be 
it 

Resolved, That the Water Project Authority reaffirms its position taken on 
November 7, 1945, with respect to application of the Federal reclamation law to 
the Central Valley project and that special legislation be enacted by the Eightieth 
Congress exempting the Central Valley project from the application of the excess 
land provisions of the Federal reclamation law, including land-acreage limitation 
and antispeculation features thereof, or general legislation be enacted by the 
Eightieth Congress which would accomplish the same objective. 

Water Project Authority of the State of California, Supplemental Report on 
Application of Excess Land Provisions of Federal Reclamation Laws to 
Central Valley Project, April 1947 

introduction 

This report is supplemental to the report entitled "Application of Excess Land 
Provisions of Federal Reclamation Law to Central Valley Project," dated October 
1945, which was prepared by the Division of Water Resources for the Water Proj- 
ect Authority of the State of California. The Water Project Authority on Novem- 
ber 7, 1945, approved that report including the recommendations therein that — 

"(1) Special legislation be enacted by the Seventy-ninth Congress exempting 
the Central Valley project from the application of the excess land provisions of the 
Federal reclamation law including land-acreage limitation and antispeculation 
features thereof; or (2) general legislation be enacted by the Seventy-ninth 
Congress which would accomplish the same objective; and (3) that S. 395, pend- 
ing before the Seventy-ninth Congress, be opposed so far as the provisions thereof 
relate to the application of the excess land provisions of the Federal reclamation 
law to the Central Valley project." 

The Federal legislation proposed at that time for modification of the excess 
land provisions was not enacted into law and other bills have been introduced in 
the present session of the Congress to accomplish that objective. 

Since the filing of the foregoing report, further basic data have been collected, 
compiled, and analyzed which have a bearing on this subject and further study has 
been directed to the legal phases thereof. In this report are set forth the results 
of this additional work with accompanying discussions with respect thereto. The 
subject matter of this report is presented under the following headings : (a) Pro- 
posed congressional legislation to exempt the Central Valley project from appli- 
cation of the excess land provisions of the Federal reclamation laws, (o) land 
ownership survey in Upper San Joaquin Valley, (c) legal considerations, (d) 
action of water project authority on February 5, 1947, (e) conclusions, and (f) 
recommendation. 

The conclusions contained in the report of October 1945 are repeated herein 
under "Conclusions" for convenience of reference. 

PROPOSED CONGRESSIONAL LEGISLATION TO EXEMPT THE CENTRAL VALLEY PROJECT 
FROM APPLICATION OF EXCESS LAND PROVISIONS OF FEDERAL RECLAMATION LAWS 

Legislation has been introduced at the present (80th) session of the Congress, 
providing for exemption of the Central Valley project from application of the 
excess land provisions of the Federal reclamation law, as follows : 

(a) S. 66 introduced January 6, 1947, by Senator Downey for himself and 
Senator Knowland ; 

(6) S. '912 introduced March 17, 1947, by Senator Downey for himself and 
Senators Knowland, Johnson of Colorado, Millikin, Connally, and O'Daniel ; 

(c) H. R. 655 introduced January 8, 1947, by Congressman Elliott ; 

(d) H. R. 656 introduced January 8, 1947, by Congressman Gearhart ; 

(e) H. R. 2052 introduced February 18, 1947, by Congressman West. 

(/) In addition, S. Res. 21 was introduced January 6, 1947, by Senator Downey. 



40 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

All measures were referred to the respective Senate and House Committees on 
Public Lands. Copies of these bills are included in the appendix of this report. 

S. 912 provides for the exemption from application of the excess land provisions 
of the following designated projects : 

San Luis project, Colorado. 

Valley Gravity Canal project, Texas. 

Central Valley projects, California. 

Hearings on S. 912 are scheduled to begin May 5, 1947, before a subcommittee 
of the Senate Committee on Public Lands at Washington, D. C. 

H. R. 2052 is identical with S. 912. S. 66 is closely similar to an amendment 
to H. R. 3961, the 1914 rivers and harbors bill, sponsored by Congressman Alfred 
J. Elliott, introduced March 22, 1944, but which failed of passage. Question has 
been raised whether the brief provision in that bill would accomplish the ob- 
jective, hence the more detailed language of the measures subsequently introduced. 

H. R. 655 and H. R. 656 are identical bills. The language of S. 912 and H. R. 
2052 closely follows the earlier bills except that H. R. 655 and 656 are restricted 
in effect to "the Central Valley projects of California," while the later bills 
(S. 912 and H. R. 2052) also include the named projects in Colorado and Texas. 

S. Res. 21 directs that an investigation be made by the Committee on Public 
Lands, or a subcommittee thereof, of the contracts offered by the Department 
of the Interior for delivery of water from the Central Valley project, including, 
among other matters, the provisions for acreage limitation. 

LANDOWNERSHIP SURVEY IN UPPER SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY 

A survey has been made by the division of water resources of the present status 
of land Ownerships in areas of the upper San Joaquin Valley, capable of re- 
ceiving water service from the Central Valley project by and through the Madera 
and Friant-Kern canals and extensions thereof. The lands surveyed lie entirely 
within the counties of Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern, and are de- 
lineated on the accompanying map, plate I. 

In Madera County, the area surveyed includes lands lying within the ex- 
terior boundaries of the Madera irrigation district and lands adjacent thereto. 
In Fresno County, the Fresno irrigation district and lands on the lower Kings 
River are not included as it is probable that any supplemental water for those 
areas would come from the Pine Flat projects on Kings River. The area sur- 
veyed in Tulare County includes lands in the Kaweah delta which in part has 
an adequate water supply for present development. The survey area in Kings 
County includes the Tulare Lake Basin which it is presently contemplated would 
receive a water supply from the Pine Flat project. 

In Kern County, the area surveyed includes the Wasco-Shafter irrigation dis- 
trict, the North Kern water storage district, and the Arvin-Edison water storage 
district and lands lying east of the North Kern water district which are under 
pump irrigation development. No lands located on the so-called west side of 
the San Joaquin Valley are included in the survey. It is not contemplated that 
these lands would be served by the Central Valley project as presently authorized. 

The area surveyed totals 2,362,430 acres, segregated by counties as follows: 
Madera, 230,400 acres; Fresno, 481,110 acres; Kings, 397,380 acres; Tulare, 
892,700 acres ; and Kern, 360,830 acres. 

It should be stated that this figure represents a gross acreage and includes 
lands unsuitable or incapable of irrigation and also includes in some instances 
lands under irrigation which have an adequate local supply. The results of the 
survey shown herein are on a county-wide basis. If an organized district basis 
were employed the results would in some cases vary to a considerable extent 
from those given herein for the county. 

In the survey the basic information and data were obtained from the official 
records of the county tax collector of each county. The records were searched for 
the lands assessed against each person, company, corporation, or other agency. 
The total land areas for each landowner were obtained by totaling the area of 
the individual tracts lying within the survey area of each county. Each county 
was dealt with separately and lands owned by any person or company in another 
county were not included or considered in the compilation for that county. Also, 
no lands were considered or included in the survey outside the areas delineated 
on the accompanying map. In other words, the segregations set forth in the 
accompanying table are controlled by the county boundaries and the survey ar >as 
within each county. This search of the records of the county tax collectors shows 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 41 

hat in the area surveyed, there were, as of March 1, 1946, 95,680 individual hold- 
ngs for the total gross area of 2,362,430 acres. 

The data and information on land ownerships obtained from the records of 
he county tax collectors have been plotted on a set of maps comprising 17 sheets, 
J6 by 36 inches in size and with a scale of 1 inch=l mile. Each ownership is 
)lotted to scale. Ownerships are shown in three distinctive colors on the maps, 
'ds in ownerships of 160 acres and less are shown in one color; those in own- 
ips of 160 to 320 acres are shown in another color ; and those in ownerships 
ver 320 acres are indicated in a third color. This set of maps is made a part 
his report. 

so, there are delineated on these maps the soil classifications for the area 
veyed. The soil classification data are taken from a publication of the Col- 
e of Agriculture, University of California, entitled "A Rating of California 
ils/' by Walter W. Weir and R. Earl Storie. 
The depth to ground water in the surveyed areas also is shown by lines of 
ual depth on the set of maps. The total area by zones of depth to ground water 
as calculated and recorded for each county. 

Much of the land in the tracts held in ownerships with areas exceeding 160 
acres and 320 acres is presently irrigated from local surface supplies and from 
ground water basins underlying such tracts. In order to show the amounts of 
such tracts so irrigated, and in order to determine the relation of the irrigated 
ireas to the total areas of the tracts, the present irrigateQ lands were plotted 
>n transparent sheets and superimposed on the maps showing ownerships. 

Utilizing the data collected from the records of the tax collectors, the following 
ompilations, segregations, and calculations were made for the survey area in 
aoh county : (a) Total area, (&) total number of holdings, (c) number of hold- 
igs with areas in excess of 16') acres and of 320 acres. ( d ) total area of holdings 
;ith areas in excess of 160 acres and of 320 acres, (e) area of lands in acres in 
xcess per holding of 160 acres and of 320 acres, (/) percent of total area of 
mds in excess per holding of 160 acres and of 320 acres, (g) presently irrigated 
inds in holdings with areas in excess of 160 acres and of 320 acres, and (h) 
epth to ground water for various ranges of depth. 

Data under the foregoing headings are given in table I. These data are segre- 
ited between unincorporated and incorporated territory. For Kings and Tulare 
ounties, information is given with and without Tulare Lake Basin water stor- 
ie district for two reasons. One is that the area may receive its additional 
ter supply from the Pine Flat project and the other is that due to the fact 
t even with Pine Flat and other flood control storage regulation, the area in 
basin will be subject to periodic flooding and therefore not suitable for farm 
les. Also, data^for Kern County is given with and without the North Kern 
ter storage district for the reason that officials of that district have indicated 
district will not take water from the Central Valley project. 



42 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 









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CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 



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CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 45 

Information in table I for unincorporated territory, including Tulare Lake 
Basin and North Kern water storage districts, may be summarized as follows: 

Total area surveyed — unincorporated acres— 2, 342, 570 

Total number of holdings 72, 770 

Number of holdings with areas : 

In excess of 160 acres 1,907 

In excess of 320 acres 926 

Total area of holdings with areas: 

In excess of 160 acres acres__ 1,147,080 

In excess of 320 acres do 945, 160 

Area of lands in acres in excess : 

Per holding of 160 acres acres__ 841, 960 

Per holding of 320 acres do 64$, 844 

Percent of total area of lands in excess : 

Per holding of 160 acres 35.9 

Per holding of 320 acres 27. 7 

Presently irrigated lands in holdings with areas: 

In excess of 160 acres___ — acres— 550, 820 

In excess of 320 acres do 438, 960 

Area with depth to ground water (exclusive of Tulare Lake Basin water 
storage district) : 

0-50 feet acres— 1, 282,010 

50-100 feet do 364, 710 

100-150 feet do 151, 240 

150-200 feea do 101, 300 

200-250 feet — do 51, 230 

250-300 feet —do 40, 710 

Over 300 feet do 11, 740 

No data available — do 169,450 

An examination of the data in table I reveals that for the unincorporated terri- 
tory of 2,342,570 acres, 1,195.490 acres are in 70.863 holdings of 160 acres or less 
which represents an average holding of about 17 acres. On the other hand, 
1,147,080 acres in holdings in excess of 160 acres per holding are in 1,907 holdings, 
which represent an average holding of about 600 acres. 

It may be noted that of the total area of holdings with areas in excess of 160 
acres per holding, 48 percent of the land is presently irrigated, and that of the 
total area of holdings with areas in excess of 320 acres per holding, 46.5 percent 
of the land is presently irrigated. 

In the area surveyed, excluding the Tulare Lake Basin water storage district 
and 169,450 acres for which data are not available, the depths to ground water 
are only to 50 feet under 1.282,010 acres, or 64 percent of the area, and 50 to 
100 feet under another 364,710 acres, or 18.2 percent of the area. In the remain- 
ing 356,220 acres, or 17.8 percent, the depth to ground water range from 100 feet 
to over 300 feet, with almost one-half of the area having depths of 100 to 150 feet. 

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS 

There are numerous legal considerations which support the position taken by 
the water project authority that prompt action should be taken by Congress 
expressly exempting the Central Valley project from the application of the excess 
land provisions. Some of the more significant of these are briefly set forth in 
the following: 

It has been very widely assumed by parties concerned that, as a matter of 
law, in authorizing the project for Federal construction and operation the Con- 
gress intended that the excess land provisions should apply to the project. The 
accuracy of that assumption is believed subject to grave question. 

In order to readily follow the process of reasoning which follows requires the 
recital of some historical background. The Central Valley Project Act of 1933 
as enacted by the State legislature and approved on referendum by the electors 
at the polls became effective in January 1934. Immediately following, efforts 
of the water project authority and its staff were directed to attempts to secure 
Federal financing of the project as a State activity ; in other words, it was pro- 
posed that the State through the water project authority should construct, operate, 
and maintain the project, and that Federal participation would be restricted to 
a Federal grant approximating the direct Federal benefits, and a loan covering 
the balance of the cost to be repaid by the authority with interest over a course 

62453 — 47 4 



46 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

of years. These efforts failed to secure results and as an alternative, the water 
project authority sought to interest the Federal auhorities in undertaking the 
project as a cooperative activity under the Federal reclamation laws, the Federal 
Government to construct the project, and the water project authority to contract 
with the United States for operation and maintenance of useful units, and to 
undertake to repay to the United States the reimbursable cost, without interest 
on irrigation features, over a period of years. 

This proposal was accepted by the Federal representatives with whom the 
negotiations were conducted and steps were taken to authorize the project in 
accord with the understanding. A favorable report on the project was made by 
the Secretary of the Interior to the President recommending that the project 
be authorized pursuant to the Federal reclamation law. This report was ap- 
proved by the President in 1935 and funds were allocated for construction. The 
following year (1936) the first appropriation for the project was made by Con- 
gress and a start was made an actual construction. The same year the first 
of a series of cooperative contracts was executed between State and Nation, 
the State acting through the authority and the United States through the Secre- 
tary of the Interior, under which the water project authority carried on certain 
work, principally in relation to acquisition of San Joaquin River water rights 
and of rights-of-way. This contract clearly expressed the mutual intent to enter 
into a repayment contract as heretofore indicated. 

About this time there was rendered a decision by the Supreme Court of the 
United States which cast doubt upon the validity of an authorization of the 
project pursuant to the Federal reclamation laws. Research and study con- 
firmed that doubt. Special legislation authorizing the project for navigation 
and flood control, together with reclamation of arid and semi-arid lands and 
other purposes was therefore sought and obtained in 1937. This special act 
contains the following provision : "That, except as herein otherwise specifically 
provided, the provisions of the reclamation law, as amended, shall govern the 
repayment of expenditures and the construction, operation, and maintenance 
of the * * * (project * * * works *. * * and the Secretary of the 
Interior may enter into repayment contracts * * * and other necessary 
contracts * * *." 

This provision clearly made applicable to the project the general field of rec- 
lamation law relating to contracts for the repayment of expenditures because 
such contracts are the sole means whereby the United States can ever receive 
repayment of any part of the Federal funds expended and to be expended on 
the project. Further, all Federal moneys so far made available for project pur- 
poses are required to be "reimbursable in accordance with the reclamation law." 
Provisions of the Federal reclamation laws require that repayment contracts 
contain previsions for enforcement of the excess land provisions. 

The question, therefore, is : Did Congress intend, in the special act authorizing 
the project, by reference to the reclamation law, as amended, that the excess 
land provisions should be included? To that question attention is directed. The 
legislative history of the special act of 1937 authorizing the project lends little 
or no assistance on this point. There is, however, an available source of illumi- 
nation on it. The principal reason why it was considered impossible in the first 
place to authorize the project as a reclamation project was because there were 
in the Great Central Valley of California no public lands — no public domain — 
all such lands having long vested in private ownership. 

It is necessary to explain why thfs was considered a sound objection to author- 
izing the project under the reclamation law. The original reclamation act was 
enacted in 1902. The primary objective was to secure the disposal and settle- 
ment of the public domain, but at the same time 1 recognizing that frequently the 
most feasibly projects were already partly settled, and as no one could acquire 
more than 160 acres of public land, it was appropriate, and even necessary for 
orderly administration, as well as to equalize opportunities to settlers as among 
public and private lands, to impose the same restrictions applicable to public 
lands, on such privately owned lands as might be included in the project. Subse- 
quent amendments to date of enactment of the authorization of the project in 
1937 did not change those fundamental objectives of the reclamation law. 

Judicial history of the Federal reclamation laws is the source which reveals 
the intent of Congress concerning the present point. The courts have held the 
reclamation laws valid not as an exercise of Governmental power, but of pro- 
prietary power under the "property clause" of the Federal Constitution author- 
izing the Congress to make all needful rules and regulations for the disposal of 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 47 

public land and other property of the United States. From this it follows that 
the primary objective of a Federal reclamation project must be the disposal and 
settlement of public land; that reclamation of private lands might be included 
but only as an incidental objective, and that a project composed wholly of pri- 
vately owned lands could not be authorized under the Federal reclamation laws. 
It, was therefore necessary in order to establish without question the project 
as a lawful Federal activity, that Congress authorize the project for navigation 
and flood control, a Governmental power pursuant to the commerce clause of the 
Federal Constitution. 

In the light of this judicial history the question then resolves into whether 
the Congress, knowing this judicial history, by reference in the special act of 
1937 authorizing the project, to the reclamation law as governing repayment of 
expenditures, intended to authorize contracts merely as the means and method 
of securing return to the Federal Treasury of the reimbursable cost of the 
project, or whether Congress further intended to make a broad and far-reaching 
extension of the Federal reclamation laws by applying the excess land provi- 
sions of that law to a project consisting wholly of private lands, an application 
which the Congress could not constitutionally have done in the absence of com- 
bining the Federal reclamation law, a proprietary power, with authorization of 
the project for navigation and flood control, a Governmental power, pursuant 
to the commerce clause of the Federal Constitution. It would seem but reason- 
able that the Congress intended no such radical result and that therefore the 
excess land provisions, intended to equalize opportunities as to both public and 
private lands, are not applicable to the Central Valley project, composed wholly 
of private lands. 

The next question is — assuming the Congress did intend to apply the excess 
land provisions to this project, can they be applied to California lands under 
State law? The first point to be observed in this connection, is that there can 
be no question as to Federal law in this respect overriding State law. On the con- 
trary, the Federal law is wholly dependent for its operative effect, upon State 
law. Specifically applied, there must necessarily be an organization formed 
under State law and authorized by State law to enter into a contract with the 
United States pursuant to the Federal reclamation laws and providing for en- 
iorcement of the Federal law. If such a contract is not valid under State law, 
then the other contracting party, the Federal Government, must recede or no 
such contract can be executed. Reference is here made to the specific language 
of the special act of 1937 authorizing the project heretofore quoted, "and the 
Secretary of the Interior may enter into repayment contracts and other necessary 
contracts. * * *" If, therefore, it be contended that by the reference to "repay- 
ment contracts" there was necessarily included the excess land provisions, the 
answer is that the act in reference to such contracts does not use mandatory, but 
permissive language. Furthermore, the very act under which the Secretary 
of the Interior proposes to execute contracts for the delivery of water from the 
Central Valley project, the Reclamation Project Act of 1939, expressly provides 
that "No water may be delivered for irrigation of lands in connection with any 
new project, new division of a project, or supplemental works on a project until 
an organization, satisfactory in form and powers to the Secretary has entered 
into a repayment contract with the United States, in a form satisfactory to the 
Secretary. * * *" [Italics supplied.] 

These provisions indicate that although the excess land provisions cannot be 
applied to the project under California law, nevertheless the Secretary of the 
Interior is authorized to execute a contract for the repayment of expenditures 
pursuant to the provisions of the Federal reclamation laws which are apart from 
the excess land provisions. In the past numerous contracts have in fact been 
executed for repayment of project costs pursuant to the Federal reclamation 
laws, which contain no specific reference to the excess land provisions. 

With the foregoing as a background, and making as practical an application 
of the present question as possible, it may be stated in the following form : 
Assuming a district organized under California law has executed a repayment 
'•ontract with the United States which contains provisions for enforcement of 
the excess land provisions, can such a district refuse to deliver water to excess 
lands and at the same time levy an assessment on those lands to pay a pro rata 
share of a water supply in which the very same lands are prohibited from par- 
ticipating? This is an open question in this State, and there is no guiding prece- 
dent. Some of the other Western States have considered the subject but more or 
less indirectly, and further the opinions of the courts are not in entire accord. 



48 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Also, due to differences in statutes and constitutions, those decisions must be 
applied to California with caution. For numerous reasons these decisions are 
believed not to afford sound precedent in California. 

A third point concerns the precise form of contract formulated by the Secre- 
tary of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation for application to the Central 
Valley project. Legal representatives of the Secretary of the Interior and the 
Bureau of Reclamation do not claim that this contract is a "repayment contract." 
Nevertheless it contains provisions for enforcement of the excess land provisions. 
A repayment contract is for the purpose of returning to the Federal Treasury a 
pro rata share of the cost of the project allocated to irrigation and establishes a 
basis for the water user to secure a perpetual right to the use of project water. 
The form of contract offered by the Federal authorities, in relation to the Central 
Valley project is purely a term conract for the rental of the use of water for a 
period of years, and at the end of the term the water users would gain no per- 
petual right to the use of the water. The Federal reclamation laws authorize 
application of the excess land provisions only under a repayment contract. It 
would therefore follow that the excess land provisions have no proper place 
in a term contract for water rental. If the excess land provisions are applicable 
to a contract for 40 years, they are equally applicable to a 5-year contract, a 
manifest absurdity. Conformably, so far as known, term contracts executed pur- 
suant to the reclamation laws for projects other than the Central Valley project, 
have never contained provisions for enforcement of the excess land provisions. 

A concluding point, from the practical standpoint, may well outweigh all the 
others touched upon. This point need not be stated in the form of a question 
because, so far as known, no one has ever questioned it. The point is that where 
lands "have an existing partial supply of water in gravels underlying those lands, 
and these lands are to be furnished supplemental water by the project by re- 
charging the underground water table underlying such lands, it would be im- 
practicable to enforce the excess land provisions against those lands. 

The Bureau of Reclamation has repeatedly stated that approximately 50 per- 
cent of all water made available by the project will be utilized directly or indi- 
rectly for the purpose of recharging underground water tables. In practical 
effect, therefore, it may readily be seen that a very substantial percentage of 
the lands receiving water from the Central Valley project, in the absence of 
free consent of the owners, cannot be subjected to the excess land provisions. 
From the representations made by numerous organizations representative of 
irrigation water users, it seems rather apparent that if any attempt is made 
to enforce the excess land provisions the result will necessarily be conflict and 
discord disruptive of orderly development of the project. 

Only a few legal points of difficulty concerning application of the excess 
land provisions to the Central Valley project have been recited. There are many 
more but those set forth make clear there are grave questions involved in this 
subject which demand resolution in order to permit orderly development of 
the project. Two means are open to resolve these questions — legislation or 
litigation. Litigation would undoubtedly be protracted and expensive, and 
clearly not in the public interest so long as any other recourse is available. 
The clear cut means to resolve tbese problems would be legislation by the 
Congress eliminating application of the excess land provisions to the Central 
Valley project. 

1. Briefly summarizing these legal points, the Central Valley project was 
authorized for construction and operation by the Secretary of the Interior, 
not under the reclamation laws, but for navigation and flood control, and enumer- 
ated multiple purposes — under the commerce clause of the Federal Constitution. 
In so authorizing the project, the Congress provided that construction and 
operation of the project works, and the repayment of expenditures, should be 
governed by the reclamation law. By that reference to the reclamation law. 
it is believed that the Congress did not intend to include the excess land provi- 
sions thereof, but merely intended to provide for the return to the Federal 
Treasury of the reimbursable project cost by means of contracts with project 
beneficiaries. 

2. Even though it be assumed that the Congress did intend by the reference 
to the reclamation law to include the excess land provisions, the Federal law 
is dependent for operative effect upon State law, and under the law of this 
State there is grave doubt that the excess land provisions can be enforced. To 
determine the validity of these provisions under State law would require expen- 
sive and protracted litigation. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAXD LIMITATIONS 49 

3. The form of contract offered to districts for delivery of water from the 
project is not a repayment contract under the Federal reclamation law, but 
a term contract for water rental and, under the terms of the reclamation law, the 
excess land provisions are not applicable to term contracts. It therefore follows 
that under the provisions of the presently proposed water rental contracts, 
provisions for enforcement of the excess land provisions have no proper place. 
• 4. The concluding point has apparently never been questioned where a land- 
owner pumps water from underground, and project water will be used to 
replenish the underground strata from which the landowner extracts water, 
the excess land provisions cannot be enforced against the landowner. This 
method of water delivery will and must be so widely utilized that it would be 
unjust and discriminatory to apply the excess land provisions to any part of 
the project service area. 

ACTION* OF WATER-PROJECT AUTHORITY OX FEBRUARY 5, 1947 

The water-project authority, having been advised that bills had been introduced 
in the Eightieth Congress which would exempt the Central Valley project from 
The application of the excess-land provisions of the Federal reclamation laws, 
after a full consideration of the matter, adopted unanimously the following 
resolution on February 5, 1947: 

•'Whereas, on November 7, 1945, the Water-Project Authority of the State of 
California, approved a report entitled 'Application of Excess Land Provisions 
of Federal Reclamation Law to Central Valley Project.' dated October 1945, 
as submitted by the State Division of Water Resources, including the recom- 
mendations that : 

" '(1) Special legislation be enacted by the Seventy-ninth Congress exempting 
the Central Valley Project from the application of the excess-land provisions 
of the Federal reclamation law, including land acreage limitation and antispecula- 
tion features thereof; or (2) general legislation be enacted by the Seventy-ninth 
Congress which would accomplish the same objective: and (3) that S. 395, 
pending before the Seventy-ninth Congress be opposed so far as the provisions 
thereof relate to the application of the excess-land provisions of the Federal 
reclamation law to the Central Valley project.' 

"Whereas bills have been introduced in the Eightieth Congress, first session, 
which would exempt the Central Valley project, California, from the application 
of the excess-land provisions of the Federal reclamation law : Now, therefore, 
be it 

"Resolved, That the water-project authority reaffirms its position taken on 
November 7, 1945, with respect to application of the Federal reclamation law to 
the Central Valley project and that special legislation be enacted by the 
Eightieth Congress exempting the Central Valley project from the application 
of the excess-land provisions of the Federal reclamation law, including land 
acreage limitation and antispeculation features thereof, or general legislation be 
enacted by the Eightieth Congress which would accomplish the same objective." 

conclusions 

(Taken from report of water-project authority entitled "Application of Excess 
Land Provisions of Federal Reclamation Law to Central Valley Project,"' dated 
October 1945. Conclusion No. 14 omitted as it pertains to then pending legisla- 
tion in the Congress.) . 

1. The purpose and policy of the excess-land provisions of the Federal recla- 
mation law is approved, when and where properly applicable. 

2. The excess-land provisions are not properly applicable to the Central Valley 
project because the project is not a new desert land or raw land enterprise for 
which the excess-land provisions were originally conceived and enacted but is 
primarily a supplemental water supply project which will serve an area already 
developed and embracing a high degree of civilization with the bulk of the lands 
to be served already under irrigation and producing crops, and all in private 
ownership. 

3. Relatively small unit farms particularly in. the initial distribution of public 
lands are advantageous in many respects ; however, large-scale farming also 
has a proper place under the established agricultural economy of the Central 
Valley project service area. 

4. Past experience on irrigation projects in California demonstrates that large 
holdings have been gradually broken up and sold in smaller units without the 



50 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

imposition of governmental restrictions and requirements as contained in the 
excess-land provisions of the Federal reclamation law. 

5. Any attempt to enforce the excess-land provisions on the lands to be served 
by the Central Valley project will seriously interfere with the realization of 
the primary objective of the project — to provide supplemental water to extensive 
developed areas with serious deficiencies in present sources of supply — because 
of the probability that landowners holding excess lands will refuse to comply 
with such provisions and enter into contracts for purchase of water supplies 
from the project, and as a result repayment of project construction costs may 
be seriously impaired or delayed. 

6. The application of the excess-land provisions to the Central Valley project is 
undesirable or impracticable from the standpoint of physical, legal, economic and 
other considerations, and would be harsh, unjust, and unworkable. 

7. Land acreage limitation provisions of the Federal reclamation law are eco- 
nomically impracticable of application to the Central Valley project because it is 
difficult, if not impossible, to arbitrarily or artificially fix the proper size of family 
farm on the project due to the many variable factors involved, including type 
of crop, quality of soil, water supply, the farmer's financial resources, and his 
ability to conduct the business of farming; and, therefore, the size of farm in 
relation to this particular project should not be arbitrarily or artificially fixed but 
should be left to the freedom of the individual farmer to choose or determine 
according to his ability. 

8. The Central Valley project should be operated and water should be furnished 
for irrigation therefrom under suitable contractual arrangements, to the lands 
needing additional water supplies, irrespective of size of land holding and regard- 
less of ownership in accordance with long-established practice in California as in 
the case of irrigation and other water districts organized and operated under 
State law. 

9. The application of the excess-land provisions to the Central Valley project 
Is physically impracticable and unworkable because a substantial portion of the 
lands to be served now have access to and obtain and will continue to have access 
to and to obtain water supplies for irrigation from underground and a large part 
of the water to be made available by the project must and will be utilized by under- 
ground storage and subsequent extraction by pumping, and there is no known 
method which affords assurance of a practical means of general application which 
would prevent pumping by overlying owners having access to such underground 
water. 

10. Under California law the application of the excess-land provisions of the 
Federal reclamation law to the Central Valley project would be legally ques- 
tionable from two standpoints: (a) It is uncertain whether an irrigation district 
(with which type of district it is contemplated that most repayment contracts for 
iurnishing of water will be executed in accordance with the provisions of the 
reclamation law) entering into such a contract with the United States, can, or can- 
not agree to terms requiring compliance with such excess-land provisions in view 
cf State laws governing such districts ; and (b) there is no assurance from a legal 
standpoint of preventing the pumping of water made available by the project from 
underground for use upon overlying lands, since under existing California law 
overlying landowners have correlative rights to naturally available ground water 
as distinguished from waters artificially introduced and cannot be prevented from 
pumping their proper share of such naturally available ground water, and it would 
be difficult if not impossible to differentiate project water from other sources in the 
underground reservoir in a manner that would be satisfactory from a legal 
standpoint. 

11. In view of the precedent established by Congress in exempting the Colorado- 
Big Thompson project in Colorado and the Truckee and the Humboldt projects in 
Nevada from the excess-land provisions, all three of which projects are substan- 
tially similar to the Central Valley project, it would be sound and justifiable for 
Congress to establish a like exemption for the Central Valley project. 

12. The antispeculation provisions of the Federal reclamation law, considered 
as distinct from the land acreage limitation provisions thereof, have desirable 
objectives in restricting the realization of speculative profits reflecting increased 
land values by reason of Government expenditures for irrigation purposes, thereby 
protecting the financial interests of the United States with respect to repayment of 
reimbursable costs, as well as protecting the interests of the settlers. 

13. It is unlikely that speculative profits in sale of lands reflecting value 
added by Federal expenditures can or will be realized to any great extent on 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 51 

the lands to be served by the Central Valley project because most of the lands 
are already irrigated or adjacent to irrigated areas with substantial values 
already established, and the incremental value added by water furnished by the 
project would be relatively small compared with the total established values 
based upon other factors, and because sale of lands in the project service area 
would be in competition with and controlled by prices for other irrigated lands 
available and offered for sale outside the project but in the same general region ; 
and, therefore, the application of the antispeculation provisions to the project 
is not necessary to protect prospective settlers or the financial interests of the 
United States, and application to the project of the extremely complictaed 
procedure involved therein is not justified. 

14. (Omit.) 

15. Inasmuch as the Federal reclamation law and the excess-land provisions 
thereof, according to Federal court decision, are grounded on the "property 
clause" of the Federal Constitution, under which Congress is authorized to make 
all needful regulations for disposal of the public lands and other property of 
the United States, and in conformity therewith Federal construction and opera- 
tion of projects pursuant to such Federal reclamation law cannot be authorized 
where all project lands are privately owned, and can only be so authorized where 
at least a substantial percentage of project lands are public lands, the Central 
Valley project which contains no public lands but wherein all lands are privately 
owned should be exempted from the application of the excess-land provisions 
of the Federal reclamation law because such application would not be within 
the spirit of such law and the constitutional authority upon which it is based. 

16. Giving full and careful consideration to all factors and to all arguments 
presented, it is concluded that the primary objectives of the Central Valley 
project will be better and more fully realized and the best interests of the 
project will be served by exempting the project from the application of the 
excess-land provisions of the Federal reclamation law, including the land-acreage 
limitation and antispeculation features thereof. 

RECOMMENDATION 

It is recommended that S. 912, or other legislation which would exempt the 
Central Valley project from the application of the excess-land provisions of the 
Federal reclamation law be enacted by the Eightieth Congress, first session. 



Appendix 



[S. 66, 80th Cong., 1st sess.] 

A BILL To make the excess-land provisions of the Federal reclamation laws inapplicable 
to lands in the Central Valley project, California 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States 
of America in Congress assembled, That the excess-land provisions of the Federal 
reclamation laws shall not be applicable to lands in the Central Valley project, 
California, reauthorized by section 2 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, approved 
August 26, 1937, as amended. 



[S. 912, 80th Cong., 1st sess.] 

A BILL Exempting certain projects from the land-limitation provisions of the Federal 
reclamation laws and repealing all inconsistent provisions of prior Acts 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States 
of America in Congress assembled, That, as used in this Act — 

(a) The term "Federal reclamation laws" shall mean the Reclamation Act of 
June 17, 1902, and all acts amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto ; 

(b) The term "public lands" shall mean all lands of the United States subject, 
or which may be subject, to entry and settlement pursuant to the public-land 
laws of the United States ; 

(c) The term "private lands" shall mean all lands other than public lands as 
defined herein. 

(d) The term "land-limitation provisions" shall mean all provisions of the 
Federal reclamation laws (1) limiting irrigable private lands held by any one 



52 CERTAIX EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

owner ; (2) relating to appraisal and sale of private lands held in excess of such 
limitations; (3) denying, prohibiting, or restricting the delivery of water to 
private lands held in excess of such limitations or the right to receive water for 
such lands; and (4) relating to residence and occupancy. 

Sec. 2. The land-limitation provisions shall not apply to any private lands, to 
the delivery of project water supply to private lands, or to any contract relating 
to project water supply for private lands, susceptible of irrigation with any water 
supplied from or made available by any project hereinafter named. No benefit of 
the Federal reclamation laws shall ever be denied because of the size of any 
holding of private lands within or served by any of the hereinafter named projects. 

Sec. 3. This act shall apply to the following supplemental water projects : 

San Luis Valley project, Colorado. 

Valley Gravity Canal project, Texas. 

Central Valley projects, California. 

Sec. 4. Any and all acts and parts of acts in conflict herewith are hereby 
repealed : Provided, That any and all acts and parts of prior acts not in conflict 
with the provisions of this act shall remain in full force and effect. 



[H. R. 655, 80th Cong., 1st sess.] 

A BILL Exempting Central Valley projects of California from the land-limitation provi- 
sions of the Federal reclamation laws and repealing all inconsistent provisions of 
prior Acts 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States 
of America in Congress assembled, That as used in this Act — 

(a) The term "Federal reclamation laws" shall mean the Reclamation Act 
of June 17, 1902, and all acts amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto ; 

(b) The term "public lands" shall mean all lands of the United States subject, 
or which may be made subject, to entry and settlement pursuant to the public-land 
laws of the United States ; 

(c) The term "private lands" shall mean all lands other than public lands as 
defined herein ; and when patent shall issue for any public lands, such lands shall 
become private lands for all purposes of this act ; 

(d) The term "land-limitation provisions" shall mean all provisions of the 
Federal reclamation laws (1) limiting irrigable private lands held by any one 
owner; (2) relating to appraisal and sale of private lands held in excess of such 
limitations; (3) denying, prohibiting, or restricting the delivery of water to 
private lands held in excess of such limitations or the right to receive water for 
such lands ; and (4) relating to residence and occupancy. 

Sec. 2. The land-limitation provisions shall not apply to any private lands, to 
the delivery of project water supply to private lands, or to any contract relating 
to project water supply for private lands, susceptible of irrigation with any 
water supplied from or made available by the Central Valley projects of Cal- 
ifornia. No benefit of the Federal reclamation laws shall ever be denied because 
of the size of any holding of private lands within or served by said projects. 

Sec. 3. Any and all acts and parts of- acts in conflict herewith are hereby re- 
pealed: Provided, That any and all acts and parts of prior acts not in conflict 
with the provisions of this act shall remain in full force and effect. 



[H. R. 656, 80th Cong., 1st sess.] 

A BILL Exempting Central Valley projects of California from the land-limitation provi- 
sions of the Federal reclamation laws and repealing all inconsistent provisions of prior 
acts 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States 
of America in Congress assembled. That as used in this Act — 

(a) The term "Federal reclamation laws" shall mean the Reclamation Act of 
June 17, 1902, and all acts amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto; 

(b) The term "public lands'" shall mean all lands of the United States subject, 
or which may be made subject, to entry and settlement pursuant to the public-land 
laws of the United States; 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 53 

(c) The term "private lands" shall mean all lands other than public lands 
as defined herein ; and when patent shall issue for any public lands, such lands 
shall become private lands for all purposes of this act ; 

(d) The term "land-limitation provisions" shall mean all provisions of the 
Federal reclamation laws (1) limiting irrigable private lands held by any one 
owner; (2) relating to appraisal and sale of private lands held in excess of 
such limitations; (3) denying, prohibiting, or restricting the delivery of water 
to private lands held in excess of such limitations or the right to receive water 
for such lands; and (4) relating to residence and occupancy. 

Sec. 2. The land-limitation provisions shall not apply to any private lands, 
to the delivery of project water supply to private lands, or to any contract relating 
to project water supply for private lands, susceptible of irrigation with any water 
supplied from or made available by the Central Valley projects of California. 
No benefit of the Federal reclamation laws shall ever be denied because of the 
size of any holding of private lands within or served by said projects. 

Sec. 3. Any and all acts and parts of acts in conflict herewith are hereby 
repealed: Provided, That any and all parts of prior acts not in conflict with 
the provisions of this Act shall remain in full force and effect. 



[PI. R. 2052, 80th Cong.. 1st sess.] 

A BILL Exempting certain projects from the land-limitation provisions of the Federal 
reclamation laws and repealing all inconsistent provisions of prior Acts 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States 
of America in Congress assembled, That as used in this Act — 

(a) The term "Federal reclamation laws" shall mean the Reclamation Act of 
June 17, 1902, and all Acts amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto ; 

(b) The term "public lands" shall mean all lands of the United States subject, 
or which may be made subject, to entry and settlement pursuant to the public- 
land laws of the United States ; 

(c) The term "private lands" shall mean all lands other than public lands 
as defined herein. 

(d) The term "land-limitation provisions" shall mean all provisions of the 
Federal reclamation laws (1) limiting irrigable private lands held by any one 
owner ; (2) relating to appraisal and sale of private lands held in excess of such 
limitations; (3) denying, prohibiting, or restricting the delivery of water to 
private lands held in excess of such limitations or the right to receive water for 
such lands; and (4) relating to residence and occupancy. 

Sec. 2. The land-limitation provisions shall not apply to any private lands, to 
the delivery of project water supply to private lands, or to any contract relating 
to project water supply for private lands, susceptible of irrigation with any 
water supplied from or made available by any project hereinafter named. No 
benefit of the Federal reclamation laws shall ever be denied because of the size 
of any holding of private lands within or served by any of the hereinafter named 
projects. 

Sec. 3. This Act shall apply to the following supplemental water projects : 

San Luis Valley project, Colorado. 

Valley Gravity Canal project, Texas. 

Central Valley projects, California. 

Sec. 4. Any and all Acts and parts of Acts in conflict herewith are hereby re- 
pealed : Provided, That any and all Acts and parts of prior Acts not in conflict 
with the provisions of this Act shall remain in full force and effect. 



[S. Res. 21, 80th Cong., 1st sess.] 
RESOLUTION 

Resolved, That the Committee on Public Lands, or any duly authorized sub- 
committee thereof, is authorized and directed to make a full and complete study 
and investigation with respect to the terms and conditions of contracts offered 
by the Department of the Interior for the disposition of the water resources of 
the Central Valley project of California, including, but not limited to: (a) the 
basis of the water rights claimed by said Department, (b) the cbaracter of the 



54 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

water rights offered by the Department to water users' organizations; (c) the 
control asserted or possessed by the Department with respect to both surface 
and underground waters; (d) the collection and application of taxes, assess- 
ments, and other revenues; (e) the provisions for limitation of acreage in single 
ownerships which may be served under said contracts; (f) the specific legal 
authority for said contracts and the several provisions thereof; (g) any other 
factors relating to the proper utilization and disposition of the water resources 
of the Central Valley project, and the policies of the Department of the Interior 
with reference thereto. The committee shall report to the Senate at the earliest 
practicable date the results of its study and investigation, together with such 
recommendations as it may deem desirable concerning additional legislation. 

For the purposes of this resolution, the committee, or any duly authorized 
subcommittee thereof, is authorized to hold such hearings, to sit and act at such 
times and places during the sessions, recesses, and adjourned periods of the 
Eightieth Congress, to employ such clerical and other assistants, to require by 
subpena or otherwise the attendance of such witnesses and the production of 
such correspondence, books, papers, and documents, to administer such oaths, 
to take such testimony, and to make such expenditures as it deems advisable. 
The cost of stenographic services to report such hearings shall not be in excess 
of 25 cents per hundred words. The expenses of the committee under this 
resolution, which shall not exceed $ , shall be paid from the contingent 

fund of the Senate upon vouchers approved by the chairman of the committee. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the witness 
further questions unless some of the other Senators wish to ask first. 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead. Senator Downey. 

Senator Downey. Will you take your last statement that you were 
referring to in which you give the data on size of ownerships of various 
holdings in the Central Valley project, page 7? 

My Hyatt. Yes. 

Senator Downey. Now, according to j^our report, 27.7 of the whole 
acreage you surveyed of two-million-three-hundred-thousand-odd 
acres was in holdings of 320 acres, is that correct? . 

Mr. Hyatt* Not the 

Senator Downey. Let me say, the excess above. 

Mr. Hyatt. That is right. 

Senator Downey. The acreage above the holdings of 320 acres or 
less was 27.7 percent. Is that right ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Yes. 

Senator Downey. If we assume then that there was a limitation or 
an exemption of 320 acres for every holder, if we assume that, which 
is not quite correct, 27.7 percent of our land would be excess land. 
Is that correct according to your findings ? 

Mr. Hyatt. That is correct. We have not taken out of those figures 
the public holdings which I think the Bureau did, which accounts 
for some of the difference between our figures. But what you state is 
correct. 

Senator Downey. I mean just on the basis of these figures and these 
assumptions. 

Mr. Hyatt. That is right. 

Senator Downey. I want to develop that. 

Did you, in }^our calculations, deduct any of the parcels owned by 
public agencies such as the State or the county or the irrigation dis- 
tricts? 

Mr. Hyatt. No; we did not. 

Senator Downey. Did you deduct any parcels that were owned by 
universities, experiment stations, or agencies of that character? 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 55 

Mr. Hyatt. No ; this is straight ownership. 

Senator Downey. And, you did not deduct any lands that were 
iield in an estate? 

Mr. Hyatt. No. 

Senator Downey.. I do want to comment, Mr. Chairman, that when 
we will later consider the findings of the Bureau of Reclamation we 
would consider that they made those various deductions and perhaps 
that is one explanation why their figures show a smaller average 
holding than those of the Water Project Authority? 

Now, may I ask this question, Mr. Hyatt? 

Do I undestand the effect of your testimony to be that so far as 
these holdings were excess lands of more than 320 acres, 80 percent 
of them, so far as you could find from .a survey of water conditions, 
had a water level of under 100 feet? 

Mr. Hyatt. Well, it was 80 percent of the total acres and I expect 
that relation would hold with respect to the lands over 320 acres. 

You see, this figure that I have is a lump sum and not related to 
size, but of the 2,000,000 acres, 1,600,000 had a water level of 100 
feet or less which is about 80 percent. Now, whether that exact 
same relationship holds as to the larger acreages or the smaller, I 
could not answer but it would be reasonable to assume that it did, 
in my opinion. 

Senator Downey. And, so far as you are aware, Mr. Hyatt, no 
method has been suggested in California by which it would be possible 
to prevent the excess land owner from continuing to pump out of his 
ground even though project water would be intermixed with the water 
in his soil? 

Mr. Hyatt. The only method I have heard was to change the State 
water law and enact a water code. I think it is impossible and so 
have dismissed it. I have heard no other method suggested. 

Senator Downey. Than to pass some State law ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Yes. 

Senator Downey. Has anybody suggested any State law that would 
liave the constitutional power to take away from a man the right to 
pump underground water? 

Mr. Hyatt. They are always very vague. They alwaj^s say, "There 
ought to be a law." 

Senator Downey. Well, I might say here that we expect to show 
that no claim is made that the excess overlying land owner can be 
restricted from continuing to pump the intermixed water after the 
project is in effect. I think even the Bureau of Reclamation attorneys 
will have to agree with us on that point. That is all, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Ecton. Thank you, Senator. 

Do you have anything, Senator Butler? 

Senator Butler. I think maybe Mr. Hyatt can tell me about the 
date this area first began use of wells for irrigation purposes. 

Mr. Hyatt. Well 

Senator Butler. Just approximately. 

Mr. Hyatt. Oh, in a substantial way, perhaps about 1900. 

Senator Butler. A good many years ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Yes. 

Senator Butler. And, the number of wells has increased right 
along? 



56 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Hyatt. Oh, yes. By leaps and bounds. 

Senator Butler. And, the big wells, the deep Avells, the heavy and 
expensive wells, have been the last ones to be developed ? 

Mr. Hyatt. In general ; yes. 

Senator Butler. And, that would irrigate an area that perhaps 
would not be developed under the old plan of doing it by individuals, 
where the individual couldn't stand the expense of such a well ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Well, now, Senator, this area where the large wells 
are is really not in this project. They are mainly on the west side 
of the valley. There is a very interesting development; yes. Yes; 
a small acreage could not do it, could not afford the expense of one 
of these wells. It would not be used to capacity and, as a matter of 
fact, out there the small developments were failures for many years. 
They could not make a living out there until the large operators came 
out and put down huge wells at vast expense, then irrigated a large 
amount of land, a section or maybe more. 

Senator Butler. Is there any use of surface irrigation, with surface 
water ? Or is it practically all from wells ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Out in that country in the west, it is all from wells. 
There is not any surface water. In the highly developed area on the 
west side around the city of Bakersfield, that condition does not exist 
so much. They are smaller wells in the main. 

Senator Butler. I am going to be out to look your project over this 
summer sometime. 

Mr. Hyatt. Senator, you let us know and we will see that you are 
provided with conveniences. 

Senator Butler. I think perhaps even with the fine display here, 
and being an engineer myself, I will get a lot more out of it by personal 
investigation. 

Mr. Hyatt. 1 diet not Know you were an engineer, out we wiil Iook 
forward to seeing you. 

Senator Downey. Even though he is an engineer, you will still look 
forward to seeing him ? 

Mr. Hyatt. Even more so. We still have to get along with lawyers. 

Senator Watkins. Mr. Hyatt, here is another lawyer to get along 
with. 

Have you made any study now, to tell us how much ground water 
would be contributed by this project when it is in operation? 

Mr. Hyatt. I think there are figures on that, Senator. 

I do not know the Bureau's latest figures but, as I recall, our old 
figures, what we would call class two water, that would be thread and 
induced into underground water and later pumped probably in the 
order of half a million acre-feet. Call it half a million acre-feet. 

Senator Watkins. That is per year? 

Mr. Hyatt. Yes. 

Senator Watkins. That would be all that would be contributed by 
the project when it goes into operation? 

Mr. Hyatt. No ; that is not the whole story. 

Senator Watkins. Well, that is what I want. 

Mr. Hyatt. Parts of that that is used for irrigation on the surface, 
part of that gets down too. You see, when irrigation is practiced, 
it almost always has the effect of raising the ground water and very 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 57 

often creates a drainage problem, and it has in California. It has 
drowned out lands which went out of production for many years. 

So that water placed on the ground for surface irrigation, part 
of it gets back to the ground water. 

Senator Watkins. I understand that. I am an irrigator. I am 
trying to find out if we know how much contribution the project 
is going to make to the underground water supply which would not 
be controlled under the set-up as you now have it in the law of 
California. 

Mr. Hyatt. I think that figure is available. I would not like to 
guess at it. I think the engineers of the Bureau of Reclamation could 
perhaps submit that figure here. 

Senator Watkins. I had probably better ask them. I thought 
you might have it in your studies, to see how much they would be 
getting away with if they did not come in. 

I have heard it argued that you cannot compel these people to 
come into the districts; you cannot compel them to go on, and they 
will be pumping out water brought in by the project. 

Mr. Hyatt. That is right. 

Senator Watkins. I want to know how much they are going to 
get away with if they do not come in. * . 

Mr. Hyatt. That is variable there, Senator, as to how many of them 
there would be that refused to participate. 

Senator Watkins. The percentage would run about the same, what- 
ever you contribute if they get that much. 

Mr. Hyatt. Well, if the land were all irrigated which it would not 
be and you used these percentage figures here, a figure could be de- 
veloped. 

Senator Watkins. That is what I would like to have — just how sub- 
stantial a contribution it is going to be. 

Mr. Hyatt. The Central Valley project proposes to bring about a 
million and a half acre-feet of water into this territory. 

Senator Watkins. What is the present natural supply ? 

Mr. Hyatt. It is much greater than that. 

Senator Watkins. It would only be a small part of it? 

Mr. Hyatt. Yes : the natural supply must be several times that now-. 
Both the San Joaquin and the Kings River supply more water than 
that, and then there are other minor streams. It would be more than 
that certainly, so that the project would bring in less water than there 
is there now. 

Senator Watkins. This underground reservoir you speak of is con- 
nected so that the contribution to one part would in time get over to 
the rest of the territory? 

Mr. Hyatt. Not entirely. There are underground formations, of 
course, very complicated, and there are barriers and dikes cutting the 
underground up into basins and sub-basins to which there is usually 
some connection, but in some places there are enclosed basins and in 
other places, there are not. 

I generally regard this whole area pretty much as a common basin. 
There are barriers but there is water almost everywhere. Some areas 
cannot get water but most of them can. 

Senator Watkins. That is all. 



58 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, I would like at this point to ask 
permission to put certain data in the record with reference to Senator 
Watkins' statement. This is about the way the situation will work 
out in Madera, which is the largest district : Madera now h-as about 
20,000 acre-feet of surface flow — that is. appropriation from Fresno 
River. Then, there is the natural average annual yield of underground 
waters amounting to 77,000 acre-feet. 

Senator Watkins. Is that in addition to the 20,000 that goes in by 
irrigation ? 

Senator Downey. By direct flow; yes. 

Senator Watkins. What percentage of the amount actually ap- 
plied on the land, actually percolates into the subterranean area? 

Senator Downey. They figure about one third of the water supplied 
by surface irrigation will not be consumed but will be available for 
pumping later on. 

Senator Watkins. That is a rather low percentage is it not? 

Senator Downey. There is about one-third that will be subject to 
reclamation again by underground pumping. In addition this district 
is now negotiating to buy 120,000 acre-feet of water for direct surface 
application, and 150,000 acre-feet for absorption in the underground. 

Of the 120,000 acre-feet that would be put on by surface application,, 
they expect one-third or more to percolate into the underground and 
subject to pumping. So, of the total amount of water to be available 
to the Madera only about one-third will be subject to the Bureau of 
Reclamation in its direct sale of water for surface irrigation. 

Do I make myself clear now? 

Senator Watkins. One third of what? Let me get that straight. 

Senator Downey. Of the total amount of water that will be con- 
sumed in the Madera district after this plan is in effect only about one- 
third will be water subject to control by the Bureau of Reclamation 
by its sale for surface irrigation. 

Senator Watkins. You mean one-third of the total will be water 
applied on the land that comes from the Bureau of Reclamation 
project? 

Senator Downey. By surface flow. 

Sanator Watkins. By surface flow? 

Senator Downey. Subject to this limitation : not one-third applied 
on the land but one-third of that which is consumed, of the amount 
applied for surface irrigation, at least 25 percent and perhaps 35 to 40 
percent gets away and seeps underground. 

Senator Watkins. What is the nature of the soil there? I mean the 
surface ? 

Senator Downey. Mr. Harding, will you come forward, please? 

Senator Ecton. Thank you, Mr. Hyatt. 

Come right over here, Mr. Harding. 

Senator Downey. The reason I called for Mr. Harding is because 
he is one of our best known hydraulic engineers. 

Senator Watkins. In our State, in many places, it is 50 percent 
percolation into the subsoil and I wondered what kind of soil you had. 

Senator Downey. I want to say I tried to make my figures purposely 
very conservative. In other words, I wanted to make a minimum figure 
of the water that was applied to the surface that would get away from 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 59 

the Bureau of Reclamation to be available very cheaply to the excess 
property owners. So, I kept my percentage down. 

Xow Mr. Harding is one of our best known water engineers who 
has had perhaps the widest experience in studying and evaluating 
underground water problems. Mr. Harding, suppose you first help 
me out as a lawyer, if an engineer is willing to do that. 

Senator Ectox. Before that. Senator Downey, if Mr. Harding will 
give his official designation and title, so that the clerk can enter it in 
the records. 

STATEMENT OF S. T. HARDING, CONSULTING ENGINEER OF THE 
TULARE LAKE BASIN WATER STORAGE DISTRICT 

Mr. Harding. My name is S. T. Harding. I am a consulting engi- 
neer who has been working for some 40 years in this general field. I 
am appearing directly as the consulting engineer of the Tulare Lake 
water storage district. 

I am authorized to appear for Madera irrigation district. Orange 
Cove irrigation district. Terra Bella irrigation district, Exeter irriga- 
tion district. Vandalia irrigation district, and Central Valley Project 
Association. 

Senator Ectox. Now, if you care to, you may enlarge on the Sena- 
tor's question. 

Senator Downey. I do not believe you can be allowed to hide your 
light under a bushel. You are also connected with the University of 
California, are you not? 

Mr. Harding. I am on the faculty, but I am not appearing in any 
connection with them today. 

Senator Downey. You are not to be addressed as Professor? 

Mr. Harding. That I cannot control but I am here on leave of ab- 
sence without pay so it has no connection with the university. 

Senator Downey. Before you proceed with your general statement, 
would you discuss that question asked by Senator TVatkins as to the 
character of the soil in the Madera district and what percentage of 
the water that was applied by surface irrigation would not be 
consumed ? 

Mr. Harding. I think I can, Senator. 

The Madera irrigation district as it was organized about 1920 had 
350,000 acres in it. That includes considerable area of hardpan land, 
quite rolling, a considerable area of alkali land. Its area was cut about 
in two, to pretty near 173,000 acres gross. It happened I made the 
land classification on which the State passed on the revised boundaries. 

The water supply of the district at present consists of the flow of 
two small streams. One canal from the Fresno River diverts 20,000 
to 30,000 acre-feet surface water a year for, roughly, some 10,000 
acres. The remainder of the flow of the stream is largely absorbed 
in their stream channels and is pumped out now by some nearly 30,000 
wells within the district. 

The district area also receives some percolation on its southern 
boundary from the San Joaquin river. It has developed in the neigh- 
borhood of 80,000 to 90,000 acres from those water supplies and is 
suffering now some depletion of its ground water supplies. 



60 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

The soils in the district of the remaining area are generally good. 
On the eastern boundary, they get into some rolling hardpan land. 
On the western boundary, they get into some land somewhat alkali 
in character, but the remaining land, except for roughness here or 
there, is classified as irrigable. 

The soils, coining to the texture, probably of this 173,000 acres — 
there is a lower area, a gross of 140,000 acres — the greater part of which 
is loam or porous soils in which percolation takes place. 

In the last 2 or 3 years, the district has been able to secure the arti- 
ficial accretion to the ground water through the present stream chan- 
nels of some 100,000 acre-feet a year of so-called interim service. 
That is, the Madera Canal is completed. The Bureau has some stor- 
age water at Friant and the district is getting now temporary rental 
service ; there is no repayment for permanent service. 

Senator Watkins. That is project water? 

Mr. Harding. That is project water, yes. The district has a con- 
tract which is in effect an option to buy up to 270,000 acre-feet of proj- 
ect water. That can include not to exceed 15 percent of the class 1 
water of the project. The class 1 water is estimated to be 800,000 
acre-feet a year. That gives 120,000 acre-feet. The remaining 150,- 
000 would be made up of class 2. 120,000 acre-feet of class 1 would 
be applied in surface irrigation, and somewhere a third or more of 
that will go down, plus some additional canal conveyance losses. 

The 150,000 of class 2 water is water which occurs irregularly. The 
schedule of its occurrance indicates that the district will have to be 
prepared to handle 300,000 acre-feet in some years and in some years 
get practically nothing. That has to be regulated under ground — and 
while it will come in some years during the irrigation season, the 
greater part of that has got to be pumped from the ground water reser- 
voir in the future, so that after the district is fully developed, more 
than half of its irrigation service will come from either direct or reuse 
of ground water. 

Senator Watkins. Would that be a percentage of project water? 

Mr. Harding. Project in total supply. We figure we have about 
100,000 of present supply surface and underground from our local 
streams. 

The total requirement of the district will be 270,000 plus, roughly, 
100,000 of local water. 

Senator Watkins. A total of 370,000 ? 

Mr. Harding. That is estimated to be the total final requirements 
for the fully developed district. 

Senator Watkins. From that you determine what contribution 
would be made to the ground water ? 

Mr. Harding. Of this 270,000, around two thirds at least will go 
to the ground water, and have to be pumped back. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, if I may now have permission 
to place this table that I talked about coming from the engineer at 
Madera in the record, which is practically the same figure, although 
from a somewhat different approach than Mr. Harding gave, and 
then I can pass to Mr. Watkins, and he may want to develop some 
other questions. 

This is headed ''Summary — Estimated quantities in acre-feet." 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 61 

The supply of U. S. class 1 water is 120,000 acre-feet. The net 
gravity use from that, 90,000 acre-feet. The pump use is 30,000 acre : 
feet. 

Now, Mr. Harding, would that mean that it is expected that of the 
120,000 acre-feet, 30,000 would go into the ground and be recaptured 
by pumping ? 

' Mr. Harding. That is correct, The whole 120,000 would be applied 
in the first irrigation, and 30,000 of that would go down underground 
and be recovered. 

Senator Downey. The second item is U. S. class 2, 150,000 acre- 
feet, The whole of that is given for pumping use. 150,000 acre-feet. 

The Fresno River, 20,000 acre-feet. Net gravity use, 12,000. Pump 
use, 8,000. Is that right? 

Mr. Harding. That is correct. 

Senator Downey. That is direct surface application of 20,000 acre- 
feet from the Fresno River? 

Mr. Harding. That is right. 

Senator Downey. Natural ground water, 77,000 acre-feet. That is 
all pump use. 

So, the figures here give a total application of 367,000 acre-feet. Net 
gravity use, 102,000 acre-feet. Pump use, 265,000 acre-feet. 

The irrecoverable losses, 40,000 acre-feet, So, it comes out a net 
pump use of 22'5,000 acre-feet and a net gravity use of 102,000 feet so 
that the net gravity use, according to these figures is something less 
than a third of the total. 

Mr. Harding. Yes. The pumping will be something over two- 
thirds. 

Senator Ecton. You may proceed with your statement. 

Senator Watkins. What was that net loss largely? 

Mr. Harding. That is ground water. That may percolate out of 
the lower boundaries of the district before they can recapture it. It is 
water that may escape from the district, 

Senator Watkins. It has nothing to do with the plant use ? 

Mr. Harding. No, it is underground seepage flow. 

I have prepared a statement here which I will not follow too closely. 
I will follow it at least fairly closely although not perhaps exactly. 

The limitation provisions of the Federal reclamation law have been 
the cause of much discussion from many points of view and in relation 
to many of the issues involved. This statement is directed primarily to 
the ground water conditions in the areas to be served by the Central 
Valley project and the results that would follow from an attempt to 
apply the prohibitions of the excess lands provisions of the Federal 
reclamation law to the use of ground water in the units of this project 
in the Central Valley. 

Then, I follow with a brief discussion of the conditions in the 
Tulare Lake Basin water storage district, which I am representing. 
This district is the prospective purchaser of Central Valley project 
waters, if the acreage limitations are removed. It is impossible for the 
landowners in that district to consider purchasing Central Valley 
project water unless that is the case. 

Senator Watkins. Why is that true ? 

62453—47 5 



62 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Harding. It is an area subject to flood control and submergence 
by flood flows. You cannot live on the land and you cannot farm it 
except in big holdings. 

We are the area that receives the floodwaters of four incoming 
streams. We have had up 100,000 acres under water there in recent 
years. We are going to be subject to occasional flooding even after the 
flood-control projects are built on these streams. 

In the years when you can farm the land, it is profitable to be 
farmed. In the other years, you just have to get off the land. And, 
no small landowner can afford to carry the equipment and the costs of 
that type of irregular farming. It can only be handled in large units. 

We farm grain primarily and they take the profits of the years when 
they can, to carry the losses of the years when they cannot. 

Senator Watkins. I understand this district is not inhabited ? 

Mr. Harding. It is not inhabited. People do not live on the land. 
They move in and farm. 

Senator Watkins. You have flood conditions that make it impos- 
sible? 

Mr. Harding. You may be under 10 to 20 feet of water there. 
Kings River has built a ridge across the San Joaquin Valley with the 
material brought down. The San Joaquin is on part of that ridge. 
The waters of the King come down on that part, go to the north part. 
The Kaweah, the Tule, and Kern Rivers also flow into that. So, in 
those years when the run-off of those streams exceed the diversion 
from them, we get the surface water. 

Originally, before irrigation, the lake had something over 200,000 
acres. At present, it does not normally get that large but the area 
in the district of nearly 200,000 acres is subject to considerable uncer- 
tainty and irregularity in its practice. 

Senator Watkins, it would be very much a similar condition to Utah 
Lake. The area that may be cropped is widely variable depending 
upon the stage of the lake. 

Senator Ecton. So, due to those flood conditions, you feel, do you, 
Mr. Harding, that it would be absolutely impossible to divide this 
body of land into 160-acre tracts or less for home purposes? 

Mr. Harding. Aboslutely. That is why that district is interested in 
the removal of the acreage limitations because various of the reclama- 
tion units in there would desire to purchase supplemental water from 
a Central Valley project if it could be bought under terms which they 
could meet. 

Senator Watkins. How much do you propose to buv or did you give 
that ^ 

Mr. Harding. I have not given it. The present supply of the dis- 
trict from all sources averages about half of its total demands. The 
project water will be available in some years at least for purchase. In 
some years, we have enough. In other years, we do not have any. 
We do not have an average shortage. We have either feast or famine 
and in the famine years when the project has water, the land operators 
would like to purchase water to supplement what they already have. 

Senator Watkins. You do not know just how much that is? 

Mr. Harding. No; we have not been able to figure that out becau-e 
we have not been in a position to approach the bureau with any con- 
tracts as to what it might be. It would probably be about an acre- 
foot per acre, on the average. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 63 

Senator Watkins. How much land did he say you had ? 
Mr. Harding. 192,000 acres in the district. 
Senator Watkins. It would be a substantial purchase? 
Mr. Harding. It would be a substantial amount of water if it could 
be bought under terms that we could buy it and the project had it to 

sell. 

Senator Watkins. Are you prepared to say now that if this limita- 
tion is not removed that the district would not buy any water from this 
project — cannot buy it or cannot use it ? 

Mr. Harding. I can quote the various landowners with whom I have 
talked, and I have been their consulting engineer for the last 10 years, 
that they cannot observe an acreage limitation, and that until that 
acreage limitation is removed, there is no use of their negotiating for 
purchase of water. 

Senator Watkins. Are there not some successful farms in there, 
smaller than 160 acres or at least 160 acres in size ? 

Mr. Harding. Not that I know of. We have ownerships that are 
smaller but they do not try to farm them. They lease to the adjacent 
owners. 

Senator Watkins. I understand that it is a grain-growing section. 

Mr. Harding. Primarily. Some of the higher marginal lands are 
in cotton and other crops, but primarily, it is a grain-growing area. 
We can make a crop any year we can get one irrigation of grain. 

Senator Watkins. That is all. 

Mr. Harding. I have gone in my statement to some length on my 
qualifications. That is my experience which I do not think I need to 
repeat here. Its purpose is to indicate that I have been practically 
continuously employed in this area on ground water studies since 
1912. I made one of the first reports for the State conservation com- 
mission. From 1920 to 1922, I made a report for the State on ground 
water in Kern and Tulare counties which brought out the overdraft 
of the ground water. I made other later reports along the same gen- 
eral lines. 

As to the acreage limitation, my experience goes back to 1907 when 
1 was engineer of the Bureau of Reclamation on the Yakima project. 
We had at that time there one of the most extensive and complete 
land booms that I think the West has even seen in the apple business. 
I went through that and saw something of the speculation and the 
excess-land provisions and the other elements of that type. 

. I have been closely in contact either as an employee of the Bureau 
or for the units on its various projects, or for other agencies, Federal 
and State, on many of the various projects since that time. 

Senator Butler. Is that the project that recently liquidated its 
debt? 

Mr. Harding. It was part of the Yakima. I was the resident en- 
gineer on the construction of their main canal in 1908 and 1909. It 
was at that time the highest priced project the Bureau had — $95 orig- 
inal cost. It paid it off — the first of the units to completely pay out. 

Senator Watkins. $95 per acre or per acre-foot? 

Mr. Harding. Per acre. That is a very good project. 

My experience with both the applications of the reclamation law 
and with the ground-water conditions in the San Joaquin Valley 
antedates by many years the recent controveries relating to the appli- 



64 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

cation of the acreage limitations to this project. My conclusions were 
formed before these controversies. It is difficult to avoid meeting 
prejudiced support for the present provisions with prejudiced oppo- 
sition. An attempt has been made to confine this statement to factual 
matters relating to the results that would follow if an attempt should 
be made to apply the 160-acre limitations to the Central Valley project. 

This effort to limit this statement should not be interpreted, how- 
ever, as meaning that the author is neutral in this matter. I consider 
that the removal of the acreage limitations is an essential to the suc- 
cessful operation of this project not only because of the ground- water 
conditions here but also on more general grounds. It is my opinion 
that the settlement of this issue is even more important to the Gov- 
ernment than it is to the landowners affected. The Government now 
has an investment in this project approaching $200,000,000. This 
will be doubled on its completion with over one-half of the total in- 
curred for the entire benefit of irrigation. The Government's interest 
requires that contracts for purchase of water be made available to the 
prospective units of the project at costs they can afford and under 
conditions they can accept. Only by such contracts can the Govern- 
ment secure repayment from these lands and accomplish the benefits 
the project was designed to provide. To build this project and then 
restrict service from it so as to produce continued controversy and 
difficulty in its operation serves the interests of no one. 

Then, I have a short discussion here of the actual excess land pro- 
visions of the reclamation law. That, I think, is not necessary to read 
except the latter portion of this section provides that no water shall 
be delivered "upon the completion of any new project until contracts 
for repayment of construction costs have been made with an ap- 
proved form of organization. Such contracts are to provide that excess 
lands will be appraised by the Secretary and sold at the appraised 
value, and that "no such excess lands so held shall receive water from 
any project or division if the owners thereof shall refuse to execute 
vaiid recordable contracts for the sale of such lands under terms and 
conditions satisfactory to the Secretary of the Interior." The preced- 
ing provision is applicable only after the completion of a project. It 
has been used to justify the nonenforcement of the excess land provi- 
sions where service is supplied prior to the completion of a project and 
before the start of construction repayments. On some projects actual 
"completion" to start the running of the construction repayment period 
had not occurred for several years after service has been supplied. 
It has been easy to find some unfinished items where there was a 
desire to extend the period of rental service. 

It appears to be accepted that an irrigation district in California 
may make a repayment contract with the Bureau of Reclamation in 
which it agrees to attempt to secure recordable contracts from its ex- 
cess landowners in accordance with the provisions quoted. Presum- 
ably such consenting owners would then be bound by the contract terms 
and subject to assessment for payments under the contract. 

The excess land provisions attempt to enforce the penalties on ex- 
cess landowners only in those cases in which the owner refuses to 
execute the valid recordable contracts called for in section 46 of the 
May 25, 1946, act. Our concern in the Central Valley project relates 
to the nonconsenting excess landowners and the means that may be 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 65 

used to either force consent or to prevent the use of project water. If 
consent cannot be forced or if the use of water by nonconsenting land 
owners cannot be prevented, any effort to retain the excess land limi- 
tations in this project will retard its progress and prevent an equitable 
distribution of its benefits. 

• The only penalties specified in section 46 of the May 25, 1946, att 
are that no water shall be delivered to nonconsenting excess lands. 
This raises two principal types of question. One of these questions 
relates to the legal authority of the district to refuse service to any of 
its landowners from its available water supply, or, if it does refuse 
such service, whether such lands are subject to assessment by the dis- 
trict. These are legal questions and their discussion will not be 
attempted. 

The other type of question relates to the physical conditions affecting 
service to excess lands as they affect the ability to enforce refusal of 
delivery of such lands. My principal purpose in this statement is to 
discuss such physical problems. 

Then, there is a discussion of surface irrigation service. That does 
not present any particular difficulties in the enforcement of the ex- 
cess-land provisions. The water is in the canal. You can measure 
it out. You can stop delivery if it goes to excess lands. So, physically, 
you could enforce excess-land provisions on any service from surface 
canals. 

Now, the experience of the Bureau of Reclamation has been almost 
entirely with projects providing surface service of the irrigation 
supply made available by the Bureau. Although the conditions of 
such service make the physical control of delivery to nonconsenting 
excess lands relativety simple, the record shows that neither the 
law nor its enforcement have been effective in preventing service to 
excess lands. 

Then, we come more particularly to the handling of the ground 
water. 

Where water is pumped from the ground water different condi- 
tions apply. The water pumped is the mingled supply from various 
sources. If such pumping is done by wells operated by the district, 
the district will have control of such water in its canals and could 
control its delivery similar to other surface supplies. Where the 
well is the property of the landowners and the water is used on such 
owner's land without ever being in the possession of the district, the 
district would have no physical control over such water at any time. 
The district's only means of preventing such use would be by an 
injunction against such pumping. Its only financial relief would be 
to find some means of assessing such lands for such use. Each of 
these procedures can stand some discussion. 

Senator Watkins. I understand they are proceeding on the theory 
that the Bureau can follow and recapture the water that gets into 
the ground even after it has been used. 

Mr. Harding. It has no means of recapturing it. 

Senator Watkins. It has no physical means but they may be at- 
tempting to do it as a matter of law. 

Mr. Harding. They may be attempting it. I do not think it can 
be done. I have covered this more fully later. 



66 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

The question was asked by Senator McFarland earlier in the after- 
noon as to whether the wells were to be operated by the irrigation 
districts or the landowners. 

Senator Watkins. Is it part of the project plan that there shall 
be pumping by the Bureau ? 

Mr. Harding. No, the Bureau has no plans as yet to come into the 
areas for the unit it will serve and put in pumping plants. 

Senator Watkins. The whole plan is to deliver surface water ? 

Mr. Harding. That is right, and they have proposed to build lat- 
eral systems. No distribution beyond that point. 

Senator Watkins. And the ground water question then comes 
up simply by reason of the fact that the Bureau will claim it has a 
right to follow and recapture the water and say it is its water? 

Mr. Harding. I am getting into law, now, Senator, where I do 
not belong. It claims it has the right to follow to the extent that if 
the landowner uses it, it can be seized for that use. I am not at- 
tempting to pass on the question of whether it can be seized. 

Senator Watkins. It must be the theory that they own the water 
or otherwise they could not assess for it. 

Mr. Harding. You cannot distinguish water coming from the proj- 
ect sources, from the water that these lands already have, and are 
now pumping. 

Senator Watkins. You could not distinguish between the two 
waters, but the contribution would be part of the volume. 

Mr. Harding. It would be part of the volume. That is, they pump 
project water that reaches the ground water, and there is no way of 
distinguishing or identifying that from the natural ground waters to 
which they are entitled to pump. 

Now, in the area of. the Central Valley project in the San Joaquin 
Valley, these 30,000 well that have been referred to are practically 
entirely wells of the individual landowners. We do have some other 
districts where the district has wells from which it pumps into the 
canal systems, mainly for purposes of drainage where the water table 
is too high. 

In the area of the present authorized Central Valley project, ground 
water usage has been developed by each landowner as he was ready 
to do it independently with his own well and these 30,000 plants are 
the property of the landowners. 

There are none of those districts, as yet, which have plans for dis- 
trict pumping of ground water. Pumping in the Salt River is done 
by the Salt River Valley Water Users Association, rather than by 
the individual landowners. 

Senator Butler. The water level in this area that you are talking 
about has not declined, gone down, then, over the years ? 

Mr. Harding. Yes, very materially, and that is the principal incen- 
tive for this whole project. There were certain areas which are re- 
mote from streams and rapid replenishment, where the available 
natural ground waters are not sufficient to irrigate more than 10 or 
perhaps 20 percent of the overlying land. They developed to the 
point where depletion of ground water occurred and lowerings in 
excess of 100 feet have taken place in some areas. 

Senator Butler. You spoke of the district doing some pumping in 
order to drain the land. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 67 

Mr. Harding. Those are other districts, not in this project. We 
have districts which have very adequate water supply and some over- 
use occurs and drainage is necessary. You cannot get the individual 
landowner to drain, you have got to do it collectively. Wherever 
they pump for water, the landowners want to have their own wells 
and control their own operations, the time of irrigation and similar 
features. 

We have no drainage problems left in the area of the Central Valley 
project. We have areas of material depletion where the water table 
is lowering anywhere from 1 to 2 feet a year up to 5 or 6 feet a year 
and if that continues without bringing in additional water, they will 
eventually reach a point at which they no longer can afford to pump. 
We have abandonment of land on that account already. 

Now, I inserted here for completeness a brief discussion of the 
character of title to ground waters in California which is necessary 
if we are to understand the applications of it in California. 

Senator Watkins. Which page are you on ? 

Mr. Harding. That begins at the bottom of page of what I have. 
The mimeographed copy was run single space and it has a different 
paging. 

Senator Butler. Page 4. 

Mr. Harding. It is under the heading of "Right to percolate ground 
water in California." 

In California, a landowner has a correlative right to pump ground 
waters from under his own land. Distinctions in rights are recog- 
nized between overlying owners taking for use on overlying lands 
and draft for distant taking to nonoverlying lands. Overlying lands 
have preference in securing ground water ahead of distant takers ; only 
the surplus above the needs of the overlying lands, where such surplus 
exists, may be taken to distant lands. Where the supply is insufficient 
for the overlying lands, the water available is subject to prorating 
among the overlying owners in accordance with their reasonable needs. 
These are recognized property rights, an inherent and recognized part 
of the value of the overlying lands which cannot be taken away by 
any statutory provisions. 

Questions of distant taking will not be involved in the units pro- 
posed for the Central Valley project. As this project is planned 
largely to replace the present excess ground water draft for overlying 
lands, the nonconsentmg excess landowners will be overlying owners 
and can secure ground water supplies from under their own excess 
lands. 

Senator Ecton. Mr. Harding, it appears here that California maybe 
is only one, or one of several States that has this right. All the States 
have that right; that is, landowners in each State have that right, 
do they not ? 

Mr. Harding. The title to use of ground water varies in the differ- 
ent States. We have a certain State like New Mexico which has an 
appropriative system for ground water. 

Senator Ecton. I thought the law of conferring title of land to an 
individual entitled that individual to own everything under that land 
clear to the center of the earth, unless there was some provision in his 
title that reserved some right to someone else. 



68 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Harding. That is what the English common law was which 
we originally adopted in most of the States in this country, but the 
States having large ground water use have had to modify it. We 
have modified it in California to a system of correlative rights. 

Senator Ecton. This bill touches not only California but Texas 
and Colorado and possibly Arizona. 

Senator Downey. Just the three States, Colorado, Texas, and 
California. 

Senator Ecton. Are there laws the same as in California in that 
respect ? 

Mr. Harding. No. I would not want to decide in detail the ground 
water laws of Colorado or Texas, but they do have essential differences. 

Senator Ectox. Then, in this bill we have to deal with the laws 
concerning ground water in regard to three different States. Is that 
right ? 

Mr. Harding. That is correct and the presentation I am making 
here applies to the Central Valley project in California. 

Senator Ecton. I understand, but I just wanted to get some infor- 
mation. 

Mr. Hardixg. These reasons apply particularly to us, to this par- 
ticular project. 

The projects in the other two States will presumably be presented 
by them in regard to their own conditions. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, if I might intervene. 

Senator Ectox. Senator Downey. 

Senator Downey. I do not believe any claim will be made that in 
any one of the three States an overlying owner can be restrained 
from pumping his underground water. 

Senator Watkins. No matter what its source ? 

Senator Ectox. I do not think so, Senator. I do not know what 
the law is. 

Senatei* Downey. If it flows in a defined channel, yes, Senator. If 
you have an underground stream of water that can be traced in a 
subterranean channel, you might have an exception, but not where it 
is naturally percolated water that diffuses itself. 

We will have a complete discussion of that by one of the lawyers. 

Senator Watkins. I understand that — the reason I am making the 
remarks I have made is on the theory that you have a big reservoir 
here, a well recognized underground reservoir, and contributions are 
being made to it all the time by the project — and I understood that 
the project's practice, or the Federal reclamation practice, was to 
claim the water they contributed and had the right to recapture it. 

Of course, maybe you have something in your California law that 
would make it impossible to do that, but if we go on the theory that 
it is a big reservoir and they make contributions to it, it seems to me, 
under the Federal cases, you would have the right to follow it. It was 
on that theory that they were claiming it. 

Mr. Harding. The reason I am including this discussion of the 
principle is because in that underground reservoir you have no means 
of segregating or identifying what I call natural ground waters 
from artificial ground watres, and when the landowner pumps from 
the underground, from under his land, you have no way of telling. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 69 

Senator Butler. He has a perfect right to claim he is pumping only 
the natural water. 

Mr. Harding. And then, the burden of proof is on the one making 
the charge. • 

Senator Watkins. You could measure it. 

Mr. Harding. There is not the same degree of accuracy. 
' Senator Watkins. You can measure the amounts contributed by 
the project. You have already done that and said it is about a third. 

Mr. Harding. Yes, and that is mingled with other water. 

Senator Watkins. That is true, but you have the law of mingling of 
waters — different waters in a reservoir. You do not have to brand 
certain water and only take that out. You take water out, a quantity, 
not any particular marked water. 

Air. Harding. And when I take it out for excess land, I claim I am 
taking natural water. 

Senator Watkins. When that supply is gone, it is measurable is it 
not? 

Mr. Harding. Within reason. 

Senator Watkins. When that is gone, what right has he to take the 
rest of it out ? 

Mr. Harding. He would not go beyond that point because he is only 
getting the supplemental water from the project, and the supplemental 
water of the project will not be any larger. 

Senator Watkins. I do not see how it becomes a problem. 

Mr. Harding. We consider it is not a problem. The excess land- 
owner can pump it. That is why we think it is improper 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead. I hope you will pardon the interruption. 

Senator Watkins. I have no apology whatsoever to make for asking 
the questions. 

Senator Downey. I think the discussion is most valuable. 

Senator Watkins. We have different theories and while the doctor 
disclaims being a lawyer, I think he could advise most water lawyers 
on the law. 

Mr. Harding. As you know, Senator, your system of title to ground 
water in Utah is quite different from ours in California. 

Now, the main point that I want brought out here is that we in Cal- 
ifornia recognize that every owner of an overlying source of ground 
water has a proportionate right to draw on that, whatever that supply 
may be. If the supply is sufficient for all of the overlying land, there 
is no problem ; there is no shortage. If there is a surplus ground water 
supply over the needs of the overlying ground, what we call distance 
takers or people whose lands are not underlaid by this ground water, 
may take the surplus. 

If the ground water supply is insufficient for the needs of all of the 
overlying lands, then under our system, we would prorate the supply 
among the overlying landowners. 

Now, while that has been the rule with us for over 40 years, we have 
yet to have our first case in which they have attempted to prorate the 
existing natural waters. We have a number of basins in which there 
is an overdraft where it has gone on to the point that the lift has in- 
creased until some plants have had to drop out of use, but the physical 
complications and difficulties of defining the boundaries of the ground 
water basins, the amount of natural recharge and prorating it among 



70 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

underlying owners, have been such that the overlying owners them- 
selves have never attempted to have such proration made. 

Actually, prorating would be changed from year to year. You have 
variable supplies. Even in the Central Valley project where so much 
hardship has occurred from lowering of the ground water, they have 
not attempted to restrict new development in those areas because they 
recognized it would not be practical. They could not do it without de- 
fining the existing natural supply and prorating that among the then 
owners. The cost of determination and the litigation that would be 
involved have simply resulted in their preferring to have an economic 
survival of the fittest. They just keep on pumping until the water 
table gets so deep that some of them have to quit, and there is enough 
left for the remainder. 

That has taken place in various places. It has taken place in some 
areas of southern' California. We still do not find individual owners 
attempting to define their individual titles to these ground waters. 

Senator Butler. Has that experience resulted in any change in the 
acreage per unit, operative unit ? 

Mr. Harding. Normally not. As the lands may have gone out of 
use, been abandoned, the land generally in some of these areas goes 
back to dry farming and that normally tends to larger units. But, no 
very definite trend in that regard. 

Senator Butler. There is no tendency for the irrigated units to grow 
smaller? 

Mr. Harding. Well the ownerships may remain the same. The acre- 
age which they can irrigate may grow smaller, if their water supply 
diminishes. They may have to leave part of their land dry. 

The principles relating to the use of ground water in California 
have been based on the rights to the natural ground water supplies. 
For many years it has been the practice in several areas to augment the 
natural ground water supplies by artificial means. Such means are 
represented by the diversion of flood waters onto absorbent areas to 
increase percolation, by the storing of flood flows to be released at 
rates which may be absorbed in the stream channels or by combinations 
of these methods. Although this has been general practice where fea- 
sible, to date no cases involving the recognition of separate rights in 
the mingled natural and artificial ground waters have reached the 
courts for final decision. Controversies have been avoided by the 
participation of all of the areas benefited in the works and cost of 
the water spreading. Examples of such practice are the water conser- 
vation districts in the Santa Clara Valley and in Ventura County and 
the water spreading by associations of users in southern California. 
An example of this type of improvement of the ground water supply 
is the water spreading activities of the Kaweah Delta water conserva- 
tion district which is within the general areas of the Central Valley 
project. These districts and associations have been beneficial to the 
areas served and generally successful in their operations. They have 
not been hampered by any attempted artificial restraints on the size 
of land ownerships. 

This Koweah water conservation district includes a large part of 
what we call the delta of the Kaweah River which is in Tulare County 
in the general Central Valley project area. Portions of the area may 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 71 

or ma}' not buy Central Yalley project water, depending on the ade- 
quacy of their present supply. 

Senator Butler. Those in the conservation district are made up of 
residents of the district? 

Mr. Harding. That is correct. 

Senator Butler. Without any outside, either State or Federal, co- 
operation ? 

Mr. Harding. Yes. They are local public improvement districts, 
special improvement districts for a purpose where the boundaries are 
defined and the lands are taxed for the costs. 

Senator Watkins. Only the taxpayers vote for control of their 
affairs? 

Mr. Harding. We have many districts. 

Senator Watkins. Or the landowners rather. 

Mr. Harding. I think there is a landowner property qualification. 
I am not positive. It may be all residents electors. I am not sure. 

Senator Downey. In our irrigation districts, I think every elector 
can vote. 

Mr. Harding. That is right in the irrigation districts. I am not 
positive about the spreading districts. 

An example of an area benefited in its ground water supply by the 
percolation from surrounding irrigation is the city of Fresno. Fresno 
is surrounded by, but is not a part of, the Fresno irrigation district. 
Ground water under the city is used as the source of its municipal 
water supply. Prior to the construction of the adjacent irrigation sys- 
tem the depth to ground water within the city was about 60 feet. Fol- 
lowing irrigation it rose to within 10 feet. Physically, it is evident 
that the ground water supply under the city has its principal source in 
the irrigation supply, used on adjacent areas. 

In the early years of its operation, the Fresno irrigation district ap- 
proached the company then operating the municipal system and sug- 
gested that compensation be paid for the artificial supply the district 
was providing for municipal use. The answer was the one which could 
have been anticipated. The water company suggested to the district 
that if the district objected to the use of such waters by the company, 
the district should keep any ground water it claimed away from the 
company's wells. This answer has been conclusive in this matter for 
over 20 years. 

The Fresno irrigation district was organized about 1920 and made 
this approach to the private utility then operating that system. Since 
then 

Senator Watkins. Why did you say the answer was one which 
should have been anticipated? In other words, are not the people 
willing to cooperate with the irrigators for getting part of the water 
supply? 

Mr. Harding. Well, the city of Fresno has not shown any inclina- 
tion to do that since they have taken over this system which they have 
been operating for a good many years. They certainly get a benefit 
in the elevation of the water as well as in the quality. 

Senator Watkins. It seems to me that it is sort of a reflection on 
the citizens of Fresno if they were not willing to cooperate when it 
costs a lot of money to put it there for them. 



72 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Downey. We have two prominent citizens from Fresno 
here. I hope your words fall on their ears. 

Senator Butler. Is the Fresno city plant municipally owned ? 

Mr. Harding. It is at the present time. It was not at the time this 
came up, and it has not been raised as far as I know since the city 
acquired the municipal system. 

IDENTIFICATION OF ARTIFICIAL GROUND WATER 

In all areas to be served in the San Joaquin Valley by the presently 
authorized Central Valley project where ground water can be obtained, 
it is already in use, the draft generally exceeding the supply. There 
are only a few higher areas in the project where future pumping will 
not draw upon a mixture of natural and artificial ground water. 
There are similarly no areas in which the natural and artificial ground 
water can be separately identified when they have become mingled. 

Records can be secured of the total pumping draft in any contracting 
unit in any year. Records of the suppty secured from the Central 
Valley project will be available. Records of the surface use of project 
water such as the place and amounts of its first delivery to individual 
landowners can be, and in most units probably will be, secured. From 
these records estimates of the canal conveyance losses and the deep 
percolation from irrigation can be made that will give a fair ap- 
proximation of the probable increment to the ground water from the 
project water. By comparison with pumping and ground water fluctu- 
ations prior to project operation an estimate can be made of whether 
ground water derived from project supplies is being pumped and some 
approximation of its total amount secured. Such results may be ob- 
tainable for the different ground water areas as a whole but there is 
no basis on which they can be derived for individual owners of either 
excess or nonexcess lands. 

CONTROL OF USE OF ARTIFICIAL GROUND WATERS 

The plans of nearly all proposed units of the Central Valley project 
include the use of ground waters both natural and artificial. All units 
have some present sources of water supply, in some cases from surface 
streams but largely from ground water. Ground waters move slowly 
so that the best opportunity to secure the ground-water accretions from 
project sources will be on those lands receiving project surface service. 
These will be, by present reclamation law, the nonexcess lands. Few 
nonexcess lands will receive full surface service, supplemental service 
from ground water will be required. It is reasonable presumption 
that the pumping on project served lands will be largely ground water 
derived from project sources and that the excess lands will continue to 
draw more largely on the natural ground waters. While this distinc- 
tion will not be complete it will support the presumption by a court 
that an excess landowner is drawing mainly or entirely on natural 
ground waters and that consequently the district is not supplying him 
with project water. As the burden of proof will be on the party pro- 
ducing the charge in the natural conditions such an adverse presump- 
tion would preclude any limitation on such pumping. 

If the Bureau or a district should succeed in proving that a noncon- 
senting excess landowner was pumping ground water on his excess 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 73 

lands which had its source in the project water, the only positive relief 
the court could give would be to define the amount of permissible draft 
from the natural ground waters and enjoin any additional draft. This 
would require a determination of the total amount of natural ground 
water, the boundaries of the overlying lands entitled to divide such 
natural ground waters to which each area of excess lands is entitled, etc. 
As has been pointed out this has been recognized as impractical and 
has not been attempted even under the present extreme depletion in 
these ground-water areas. No one has had the temerity to suggest as 
yet that a court could enjoin the entire pumping of an excess landowner 
even if it should concluded that some artificial ground water was being 
secured. There is no basis in the past experience, nor has any been 
suggested, on which use of natural ground water pumped from under 
his own land by an excess land owner can be prevented. 

The Bureau of Keclamation is insisting that the contracting districts 
agree not to furnish water to nonconsenting excess land owners. The 
preceding discussion shows that delivery of artificial ground waters 
cannot be prevented. The question then naturally follows : Does a de- 
livery that the district cannot prevent constitute a violation of a con- 
tract not to deliver ? In a letter to the Madera irrigation district dated 
February 24, 1947, Commissioner Straus has answered this question. 
His answer should settle this point, it is as follows : 

It, therefore, need not follow that the district's authority to assess for benefits 
in fact received, but beyond the district's physical control, creates a situation in 
which here has been a "furnishing" of water which would place the district in 
violation of its contract with the United States. 

There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the ability to tax 
land using aritficial ground waters. That is a legal question that will 
Le handled generally otherwise. The principal point to which I have 
directed my statement is the physical means of preventing the used 
rather than the legal basis of charging the land if such use should be 
secured. 

Even if there is a legal right to tax nonconsenting excess lands for 
a service the district cannot prevent it would be a contradiction of 
the intent of the excess-land clauses in the district's contract with the 
Bureau. 

If it should be held that the district has no right to tax excess lands, 
then excess landowners pumping from ground water would be in a 
position to secure project benefits without cost. As the recent cost 
allocation and feasibility report by the Bureau is based on full return 
from the sale each year of all of the water supply made available at 
a price based on the ability of the landowners to pay, there is no place 
in this project for any free riders. The loss from any such inability 
to tax excess lands would fall on the Government as the rates now 
sought cannot be raised on the remaining lands without exceeding the 
Bureau's own results for the ability to pay. Any such result would 
be unfair to the small landowners which the Bureau proclaims it 
desires to favor. 

The Bureau, apparently, finds no inconsistency in a district con- 
tracting not to furnish water to the excess lands of nonconsenting 
owners and then taxing such lands for the service such lands are not 
entitled to receive. The Bureau's position on this matter is stated in 
a letter dated February 24, 1947, in which Commissioner Straus in 



74 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

replying to an inquiry by the Madera irrigation district makes the 
following statement after discussing the principles controlling assess- 
ments by irrigation districts : 

It seems to me that within such principles, the fact that there accrues to excess 
lands not rendered eligible by their owners to receive a project water supply, a 
tangible benefit beyond the power of the United States or the district physically 
to avoid does not alter the susceptibility of such lands to appropriate assess- 
ment. Accordingly, I believe that there may be found an adequate basis, as a 
general proposition, for an irrigation district assessment of all lands within its 
boundaries which in fact realize a benefit from the conduct of the District's 
operations. 

Then, I have added some comments on some other projects with 
which I am familiar to illustrate or compare the things the Bureau 
attempts to enforce in this project, with its record elsewhere. 

The only other Bureau project which may be helpful for comparison 
with the Central Valley project are those providing supplemental 
service where the use of ground water is general. Only a few of the 
Bureau projects are of this type as the entensive use of ground water 
is limited to a few projects of more favorable economic conditions 
having available ground water supplies. The most directly com- 
parable projects are the Colorado-Big Thompson project and the Salt 
River project in Arizona. 

Colorado-Big Thompson project. I mention here my own contacts 
with that project. I was employed on engineering work in the area of 
this project in 1910 and 1911. I reviewed its preliminary plans in 
1936 and its repayment contract in 1944. This last work was in con- 
nection with a report for landowners in the San Luis Valley where 
a similar type of conservancy district was under consideration and 
where the application of the excess land provisions for supplemental 
irrigation service is also an active issue. 

The service area of the Colorado-Big Thompson project is highly 
developed. This area had expanded its irrigation to the point where 
additional w^ater was needed. Landowners were turning to pumping 
from wells to secure such supplemental water. In the South Platte 
Valley a close balance had been reached based on full use of the return 
flow to the streams for rediversion. Such pumping would intercept 
and diminish the return flow and upset the balance on which this ex- 
tensive development was based. The Colorado-Big Thompson project 
was devised to bring in supplemental water to meet this deficiency and 
to preserve the existing irrigation. This is a desirable and worth- 
while project. It was generally recognized that the excess land pro- 
visions were not applicable under such conditions and exempting legis- 
lation was passed by Congress on June 10, 1938. This legislation had 
the support of the Department of the Interior. 

The repayment contract was drawn prior to the passage of this 
exempting legislation although the election on its approval was not 
held until June 28, 1938. Publication of the notice of the election, 
w^hich included a copy of the contract, began June 1, 1938. Conse- 
quently, the contract includes a general clause making the provisions 
for appraisal and sale of excess irrigable areas applicable without 
detailing the procedure to be followed. 

This exemption act states that the excess land provisions — 

shall not be applicable to lands which now have an irrigation water supply from 
sources other than a Federal reclamation project and which will receive a supple- 
mental supply from the Colorado-Big Thompson project. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 75 

It is understood that all lands to be served by this project are con- 
sidered to have such other sources of water supply and that no enforce- 
ment of the excess land limitations has been attempted. 

While the basis of title to the use of percolating ground waters in 
Colorado is, as yet, not fully defined, kt is noticeable that no attempt has 
been made to restrict pumping by a landowner from under his own 
land. The repayment contract provides for purchase of the project 
water by the district at a defined price per acre-foot for the original 
delivery. The taxing power of the conservancy district is limited by 
law and the only source of income with which the conservancy district 
can meet its payments will be resale to the irrigation systems within 
the district. 

The project resembles the Central Valley project in that supple- 
mental water will be brought to a highly developed area and sold 
on an acre-foot rather than an acre basis. It is fortunate for the 
Colorado-Big Thompson project that these excess-land limitation pro- 
visions were worked out while the Bureau of Reclamation was under 
practical engineering direction seeking to serve the real interest of 
the Bureau and the included landowners. While the Central Valley 
areas do not begrudge the Colorado-Big Thompson project its good 
fortune in this regard, they regret that their project was delayed until 
the Bureau has changed its policies in such matters. 

SALT RIVER PROJECT 

This is one of the oldest Bureau projects. Its original repayment 
contracts were made prior to the 1926 act. The general prohibition 
of service to areas in excess of 100 acres was applicable, however. Con- 
tracts for later construction, such as the Bartlett Dam on Verde River 
were made after 1926. Bureau records show material areas in excess 
holdings with an increase in the total excess area from 1913 to 1937. 

This project uses ground water extensively with the pumping done 
by the Salt River Valley Water-Users Association, or districts with 
which it has contracted, rather than by the individual landowners. 
Like Colorado, the Arizona courts have not fully determined the basis 
of title to the use of percolating ground waters. Where there has been 
little need for landowners to install their own wells and pumping 
plants in this project, no effort was made to limit such draft by land- 
owners when some such plants were installed in 1910 to supplement 
the service of the water-users association. 

I should comment here that since preparing this statement I was in 
Phoenix 2 weeks ago on other business and made further inquiries 
there. There is recent correspondence between the Salt River Valley 
Water-Users Association and the Bureau regarding the enforcement 
of the 160-acre limitation, and they have been asked to enforce it or 
bring it into enforcement within the next 3 years, without explaining 
to the association any way in which that could be brought about, 
because they have already made their repayment contracts and there 
is no need or no way in which they can force an excess landowner 
to make a consenting contract at the present time. At least, none has 
been suggested as far as I have been able to find as yet. 

Senator Watkins. As a matter of fact, is not the reclamation law 
written by reference into all these contracts? 



76 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Harding. Yes, but they have been serving this water. 

Senator Wakins. In other words, they have been violating their 
contracts, all this time ? 

Mr. Harding. No, in this Bartlett Dam, there is no excess provision. 
There may be a general reference. It is my understanding that the 
excess landowner makes a consenting agreement to sell his land at 
fixed prices. 

Senator Watkins. I understand that, but nearly all the contracts 
I have seen contain provisions that refer to the reclamation law as 
a part of the contract, even though they do not go into working out 
a method whereby he gets rid of his excess land. 

Mr. Harding. No, but the 1926 act required that the excess land- 
owner make that contract. 

If the repayment contract is made before the excess land-owner 
is even approached to make such a consenting contract, you have not 
very much leverage to enforce it from there on. 

Senator Watkins. We have the same situation in Utah. It only 
refers in a general way in our contracts to the Reclamation Act, yet 
they insist we limit it to 160 acres. 

Mr. Harding. Most of your projects have none or very little excess 
land. 

Senator Watkins. We have some, but the amount we have should 
not make any difference. 

Mr. Harding. No, but have they forced you to get rid of it ? 

Senator Watkins. They are insisting on it, yet they tell us we will 
have to eventually. 

Mr. Harding. Eventually is a long time. 

Senator Watkins. Apparently it was done in Arizona. 

Mr. Harding. They have been operating in Arizona roughly 40 
years. 

Senattor Watkins. You say they have not insisted until just recently 
on getting rid of excess land ? 

Mr. Harding. That is right and they furnished a list of some 30,000 
acres of land in excess of 320 acres which is now in such holdings. 

The association has agreed to notify the landowners that they have 
been notified that they should get rid Of the land. 

Senator Watkins. Have the} 7 agreed to do anything about it? 

Mr. Harding. Not yet. The Bureau has agreed, in view of the long 
delay, that they may have 3 years to do it, so I do not anticipate any 
active action within 3 years. 

The Central Valley project areas are glad that the Salt River project 
has been free from any enforcement of the excess-land provisions, 
but they are still confused why such advantages should be extended to 
its sister State by the Bureau while it makes such a vigorous demand 
for their full enforcement in the Central Valley areas. 

Then, I conclude with a summation of conclusions. 

1. In nearly all areas to be served by the presently authorized Central 
Valley project, ground-water use will draw on mingled natural ground 
waters and artificial ground waters originating in project waters. 

2. There will be no practical basis for the separate identification of 
these two types of mingled ground waters. 

3. Even if the artificial ground water resulting from project opera - 
tions could be identified there is no practicable means of preventing 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 77 

their use along with the natural ground waters which the overlying 
landowners have an inherent right to pump. 

4. If use on nonconsenting excess lands of such project ground 
waters cannot be prevented, there is no incentive for an excess-land 
owner to consent to the restrictions the Bureau seeks to impose. 
.5. As a contracting district has no means of preventing use of such 
artificial ground waters, its use would not be a violation of its con- 
tract with the Bureau not to deliver water to such lands. 

6. It would be inconsistent for a district to contract not to deliver 
water to nonconsenting excess lands and then to tax such lands for 
such deliveries even if such taxation should be legal. 

7. The only reasonable way to advance, this project so that it can 
perform the functions it was designed to serve is to remove the artificial 
land-limitation provisions which are now delaying its progress. Xo 
essential detrimental effects will result and many positive advantages 
will be secured. 

8. The Federal Government has the larger interest in the success- 
ful operation of this project and should support the passage of legis- 
lation essential to its success as it has in other similar projects. As 
the Bureau of Reclamation has not found a solution for these problems, 
after 12 years supposedly spent on this study, Congress should take 
action by the repeal of the present excess-land provisions. This is 
the only definite action that has been proposed that will provide a 
positive and certain remedy. 

Senator Ecton. Does anyone have questions ? 

Senator Downey. I would like to ask Mr. Harding just one or two 
questions. 

Mr. Harding, I think it is possible that by our joint statements, 
we may have given some erroneous idea as to the nature of the under- 
ground water there in the Sacramento Valley, and in the San Joaquin 
Valley. 

Now, let me first ask, is it not true that there are a number of under- 
ground reservoirs coming from totally different and independent 
sources ? 

Mr. Harding. That is correct. The streams from the Sierras serve 
-and supply ground water to lands adjacent to their courses. Some 
parts of the San Joaquin Valley, the streams draining are close enough 
together that their deltas can overlap. When we get to the southern 
end of the valley, the streams are farther apart, and we have inter- 
vening areas where the rate of replenishment is very slow and those 
are the areas in which the main lowering of the ground water has 
occurred. 

Senator Downey. Tomorrow we are going to discuss particularly 
the Madera district, because we want to bring out all the details with 
relation to it. Testimoity is already in the records that the anticipated 
percolating underground water in Madera will be about 77,000 acre- 
feet. What is the source of percolating water into Madera? 

Mr. Harding. The present source is natural percolation. The trib- 
utary streams are Fresno and Chowchilla Rivers. They are small 
streams whose drainage area does not extend to the Sierras. The run- 
off comes primarily in the rainy season. ' 

Senator Downey. Is there any other district but Madera that gets 
percolating water from the Fresno? 

62453—47 6 



78 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Harding. No. 

Senator Downey. Part of the water that will be in the underground 
at Madera will come from the surface application of the Fresno River? 

Mr. Harding. That is correct. There is one public utility, a small 
canal system, that diverts the dependable part of the flow of the Fresno 
River. The large part of the remainder percolates from the stream 
channel. 

Senator Downey. In any of that great area, particularly up in the 
Sacramento Valley, does the direct rainfall in the area tend to build 
up the subterranean waters ? 

Mr. Harding. To some extent as we get to the northern end of the 
Sacramento Valley, we have rainfalls of 20 or 25 inches during 5 or 
6 months of the winter season. 

Now, some direct rainfall penetration may take place there. In 
areas up in the San Joaquin Valley where rainfall is only 6 to 8 inches, 
we find no indication that it penetrates deeply enough to be effective. 

Senator Downey. That underground reservoir is not in any sense an 
underground lake? 

Mr. Harding. It has slope, always moving from the higher to the 
lower, relatively slower. 

Our earliest development was artesian wells. Those wells were in- 
stalled, some of them prior to 1900 and a few years following. Then, 
we reached the point, as is usual in artesian areas, where to get more 
water we put pumps on the wells. Then we expanded into areas 
where they never had any artesian flow. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Harding, do I understand that you are here 
to express the support of the various organizations you represent of 
this pending measure? 

Mr. Harding. That is correct. 

Senator Downey. Now, do all of those organizations feel that it is 
not practicable for them to take water with the limitation attached? 

Mr. Harding. They do. 

Senator Downey. Yes. 

Mr. Harding. I have been the consulting engineer on some of the 
matters for Madera district for the last 10 or 12 years, and I am quite 
familiar with their procedure. They are very puzzled on what they 
can do. They naturally desire to contract for this water. They have 
not had indicated to them yet any practical way in which they can 
operate their district under these excess-land proA 7 isions. 

Senator Downey. Has the Madera been getting water, Mr. Harding ? 

Mr. Harding. They have been getting some Central Valley project 
water on a rental basis which they have been running down the chan- 
nels of the stream, and creating artificial recharge within the areas 
affected by those streams. 

One year a certain amount of that water was also diverted by Madera 
Canal & Irrigation Co. 

Senator Downey. Has that process of recharging the underground 
waters been successful, Mr. Harding? 

Mr. Harding. It has. It does not extend out over the full area of 
the district but it has been helpful in checking the lowering ground 
water in those areas. 

Senator Downey. I understand Madera has had water on this 
interim temporary contract for 2 years. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 79 

Mr. Harding. Three years before this. This will be the fourth 
season. 

Senator Downey. The fourth season? And at no time has any 
limitation been attached to the use of that water ? 

Mr. Harding. No. As far as I know the Bureau has never at- 
tempted to put an acreage limitation on rental service. It only applies 
after contracts for permanent service are made. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Harding, I have correspondence here with 
the chief engineer of the district, Mr. Barnes. Is it your opinion that 
Mr. Barnes and his directors have honestly and sincerely sought to 
work out some solution of this problem by which they could accept the 
water on the terms offered by the Bureau of Reclamation? 

Mr. Harding. Very definitely. When the State water project au- 
thority had the contracts with the Bureau under which they were to be 
the negotiating agency, the Madera district pressed as actively as it 
could for the drafting of those contracts so they could know where 
they might stand. I think the record is clear that they have urged 
at all times the working out of these matters on terms which they 
could accept and they stood ready and desired to do that whenever it 
be presented in a form to them in which it is practicable for them to 
take it. 

Senator Dow^ney. Now, in connection with this subject we are just 
developing, the Madera district is a typical district in the amount of 
excess land. It think it is the largest district and is the first district 
to receive water. Incidentally, its largest acreage — about 26,000 
acres — is in grain. As I stated before, only 23 percent of its land is 
in excess acreage, as found by the Bureau of Reclamation. 

Now, apparently, only a third of the water into the Madera can be 
controlled by the Bureau after it once turns it in, and there is only 23 
percent of the acreage in excess acreage, so we have an equivalent of 8 
percent of the water — that is one-third applied against 23 percent — 
that is causing all this argument and difficulty, as far as the Madera is 
concerned. 

It really comes down, as far as an} 7 practical result is concerned to 
an inconsequential item. 

We will be prepared tomorrow morning to begin presenting the 
definite data and correspondence between the Madera district and the 
Bureau of Reclamation and I think that correspondence will present 
the issues both of the law and of the facts to the committee better than 
any other way we could do it. 

Senator Watkins. About this exhibit, you made reference to the 
fact that you may have made a misrepresentation with reference to 
your case. Does not your exhibit give the idea that you have an under- 
ground lake there ? 

Mr. Harding. Well, it is underground storage, you might call it. 
You might have a dam on a stream which had a leakage. You would 
still have a reservoir but the water would eventually get away. 

Senator Watkins. You would get the impression from that that 
you had a reservoir. 

Mr. Harding. The movement is so slow that you get a chance to 

beat it. It is not a reservoir to the extent that you have surface 

Senator Watkins. I understand what you mean, but I thought it 
was oversimplified when it was introduced. 



80 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Ecton. I want to thank you, Mr. Harding, and before we 
adjourn, Commissioner Straus will appear before the committee in the 
morning and give a 30-minute summary of the background and his 
views pertaining to this legislation so that we will have an expression 
from him. We will then go on with the Madera project and the Madera 
Valley as outlined by Senator Downey. 

Senator Doavney. Mr. Chairman, I consented to the fact that Mr. 
Straus should break into our testimony 

Senator Ecton. That is right. 

Senator Downey. Upon my statement to you that I would consent 
to that if Mr. Straus would attempt in some simple natural language to 
tell this committee how it would be possible to apply this acreage 
limitation. 

I have been talking with Mr. Straus and his predecessors for 3 or 4 
years, and I never yet have had them sit down and say, "Senator 
Downey, we believe this limitation can be applied thus and so and the 
financing and engineering problem worked out." 

I would give way any time if Mr. Straus would do that. 

Senator Ecton. Senator, is it not asking quite a lot, in view of the 
fact that he has not been able to do it in the last 3 or 4 years, to ask him 
to do it in 30 minutes ? 

Senator Downey. I will do whatever the committee wants, of course. 
I do not like to give way to Mr. Straus if he is merely going to give us 
.what I call a discussion of sin, that we are all for small farms and 
against big ones and that we all believe in reclamation. 

If he is going to say, "Gentlemen, Senator Downey, Mr. Hyatt, and 
Mr. Harding are wrong, this is the way," 

Senator Ecton. I do not think he has any intention of doing that. 

Senator Downey. That is what I want him to do. 

Senator Ecton. Not in the morning. You see, if he appears later 
in opposition, then he may bring that in. 

Mr. Straus. I will testify on the bill before the committee S. 912, 
Senator, and I thought it might have convenience to have the con- 
troversy, if it is a controversy, or discussion, joined so that the com- 
mittee would have it before it. Then, we prefer not to interrupt any 
schedule beyond that that the committee may have in mind, if the 
out-of-town witnesses can be accommodated. 

Senator Ecton. I think it would be very beneficial to the com- 
mittee, Commissioner, and Senator Downey, I hope you will agree. 

Senator Downey. Oh, Mr. Chairman, of course I will accede to 
whatever you want to do, and if Mr. Straus will state to this com- 
mittee the way the Bureau of Reclamation expect to work this out, 
why I think it will be of great value to all of us. Then we would 
know what the issue is. 

Senator Watkins. We should have had him first if he has a simple 
answer. 

Mr. Straus. I do not promise a simple answer. 

Senator Watkins. I understand that is a condition on which you 
are permitted to testify. If you do not have a simple answer, you 
cannot. 

Senator Downey. Senator Watkins, that is not it. If the Com- 
missioner is going to be here to tell us how this can be done and 
worked out, I would certainly like to have him here. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 81 

Senator Watkins. I would, too. It would probably prevent the 
rest of the hearings. 

Senator Downey. Sure, it might do that. 

Senator Ecton. Mr. Straus, would that be possible? 

Mr. Straus. No. 

Mr. Chairman, I thought that it would be helpful to the committee 
to get these facts out and the testimony I would offer would be most 
specifically the Bureau of Reclamation's views on S. 912 which is 
what we have been asked to report on. 

Senator Watkins. Have you given the report, Mr. Straus? 

Mr. Straus. Yes; there is a formal departmental report, Senator 
Watkins. 

Senator Watkins. I have not seen it. 

Senator Downey. All right, Mr. Chairman, that will be agreeable 
upon the understanding that examination and cross-examination is 
charged to the time of the Bureau of Reclamation. 

Mr. Straus. Certainly. 

Senator Ecton. It is understood. 

Mr. Straus. May I inquire, Mr. Chairman, as to the general plans 
of the hearing? Are we going to have morning and afternoon ses- 
sions for the balance of the week ? 

Senator Ecton. We would like to very much if we do not get into 
complications here in the Senate . We will go right through with it. 
We will either meet in this room or in the Territories Room. 

Mr. Straus. Both morning and afternoon sessions will be in this 
building ? 

Senator Ecton. Yes. 

Senator Butler. Mr. Chairman, I want to ask Senator Downey if 
he feels that the restrictions placed on the distribution of water under 
this reclamation law is applicable to a district like his, where they get 
but a portion of the water from the Reclamation Bureau, the same as 
a district where they furnish all of the water. Has that point been 
developed ? 

Senator Downey. Well, there is some uncertainty in California 
in the legal opinion as to whether the limitation does apply to the 
Central Valley project. I am inclined to think, with the law that 
exists, that it does apply, although that is a controversial question, 
too. 

Senator Ecton. Well, we will adjourn until tomorrow morning at 
10 o'clock in the Territories Room. 

(Whereupon at 6 : 05 p. m., the subcommittee adjourned subject to 
reconvening tomorrow, Tuesday, May 6, 1947, at 10 a. m.) 



EXEMPTION OF CERTAIN PROJECTS FROM LAND-LIMI- 
TATION PROVISIONS OF FEDERAL RECLAMATION LAWS 



TUESDAY, MAY 6, 1947 

United States Senate, 
Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation of the 

Committee on Public Lands, 

Washington, D. G. 

The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to adjournment, in the 
Public Lands Committee room in the Capitol Building, Senator 
Zales N. Ecton presiding. 

Present: Senators Ecton, Watkins, and Downey. 

There were present before the subcommittee : Hon. George P. Miller, 
a Representative in Congress from the State of California; Michael 
W. Straus, Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation; William E. 
Warne, Assistant Commissioner ; Cliiford E. Fix, chief counsel, Bureau 
of Reclamation ; Goodrich W. Lineweaver, Director, Branch of Oper- 
ation and Maintenance, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the 
Interior ; Boyd Stewart, member of State committee, Production and 
Marketing Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, 
Olema, Calif.; M. C. Hermann, quartermaster adjutant, Califor- 
nia Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, 
Veterans' Memorial Building, San Francisco, Calif. ; J. J. Deuel, direc- 
tor, Public Utilities Department; California Farm Bureau, Kern 
County, Calif. ; Charles J. Kaupke, water master and engineer, Kings 
River Water Association, California ; and John M. Luther, manager, 
Central Valley Flood Control Association, Sacramento, Calif. 

Senator Ecton. Gentlemen, the committee will please be in order. 
We are continuing our hearing on S. 912. 

Under the agreement yesterday, Mr. Straus is given 30 minutes to 
present his side or his views pertaining to this bill that we have under 
discussion. 

You may go ahead, Mr. Straus. 

Senator Downey. I understood Mr. Straus was not to go ahead until 
I had made about an hour's presentation. What I thought we could 
do, Senator, I have about an hour's presentation here to the commit- 
tee, of a certain correspondence that I think states the issue to the 
committee better than any other way it could be presented, and then 
Mr. Straus is going to testify. I am not particular if Mr. Straus wants 
to go right ahead. I think I could cross-examine him to greater ad- 
vantage if I had his documents and records and the paper, but I 

Mr. Straus. I am prepared to go, ahead now or when the chairman 
directs me. 

Senator Ecton. It was the understanding, so I thought, that Mr. 
Straus would proceed first. 

83 



84 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Downey. No. Mr. Straus told me the last thing this morn- 
ing, but I do not want to raise any point on it at this time, but I 
should just like to ask the chairman this: I have certain statements 
and documents here from the Bureau of Reclamation. If after Mr. 
Straus is through I can then put them into to use for the purpose of his 
cross-examination, that would suit me. That is all. 

Senator Ecton. As far as I am concerned it does not make one bit of 
difference to me. I want to conduct this hearing so that it is agree- 
able to all concerned, if possible. 

Senator Downey. Well, if Mr. Straus is satisfied. 

Mr. Straus. I am agreeable to anything that is desired. I do not 
want to take more than about a half an hour on direct statement, 
Senator. 

Senator Ecton. Inasmuch as we decided in the first place to give 
the proponents 3 days and then let the opponents of the measure come 
in, we just thought that we would give Mr. Straus a half an hour to 
make a statement, and then perhaps your testimony or your rebuttal, 
whatever you have, would fit in a little better. 

Senator Downey. Yes, Senator, and I agree with that. I just 
thought that Mr. Straus's testimony could be better judged in light of 
this correspondence between the Madera District and the Bureau of 
Reclamation which would shape up the issue more intelligently and 
clearly than any other way I know of, but I am very happy to have 
Mr. Straus go ahead. That is all. 

Mr. Straus. All right. 

Senator Ecton. It does not make any difference to you whether it 
is now or later? 

Mr. Straus. No. I would like to have about a half an hour on di- 
rect, and what cross-examination the committee wants to give me. 

Senator Ecton. Well, go ahead with your testimony. And then we 
will receive yours afterwards. Senator Downey. 

Senator Downey. All right. 

STATEMENT OF MICHAEL W. STRAUS, COMMISSIONER, BUREAU 
OE RECLAMATION, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

Mr. Straus. My name is Michael W. Straus, United States Com- 
missioner of Reclamation, and I really appreciate the courtesy of the 
committee and of Senator Downey in giving me this opportunity to 
outline the Bureau's views at this time. 

Yesterday you heard the indictment, or at least some of the counts 
of the indictment, which is that we are seeking to abide by the existent 
reclamation law, and to that the Bureau will plead guilty. I am 
gratified that the various witnesses yesterday seemed to confirm — 
I think did confirm — tfce fact that this project is under the reclamation 
law and that there has been no exemption, or that no official of the 
Bureau has promised any exemption, from the acreage restriction 
law. Of course, even if that had been true, it is not given to any official 
of the Bureau of Reclamation or myself or the Secretary of the Interior 
to be selective about what sections of the law we abide by and what 
sections we do not abide by. 

A question was raised as to how we shall work under this law in 
the Central Valley. We are working under this law in Central 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 85 

Valley. We have contracts that are approved by resolution em- 
bracing the acreage restriction features from three districts at 
the present time, although water will not be available to them for 
some months or years : and the delivery of water is the point at which 
the law becomes effective, and we are now in negotiation with almost 
a- dozen other districts, and I believe that the proper way to make the 
law work, as it has worked I think quite well all over the country, 
is to give it an opportunity to work in California, and that is the 
effort of the Bureau at the present time. 

In testifying this morning I have only one regret, and that is that 
it brings me into opposition with a proposal of Senator Downey, for 
whom I have great respect, and whose philosophy I usually share; 
but I want to explain to the committee that I discussed this with the 
Senator for almost two years, and unfortunately I find myself in a 
position where I am in complete disagreement on this one amndment 
to the law. So, with that single regret, the Bureau welcomes the 
opportunity to present to your committee its opposition to S. 912. 

At this point, Mr. Chairman, I wish to present to the committee a 
colored map or diagram of the Central Valley project in California, 
so that you will have it before you as I give my statement. 

Senator Ecton. Very well, Mr. Straus. It will be made a part 
of the record. 

(The map is on file with the committee.) 

Mr. Straus. This bill proposes, and in our opinion it would open 
the way for, large-scale or corporate farming on Federal reclamation 
projects with interest-free irrigation construction money from the 
Federal Treasury. 

While this bill originated in California and, under the version now 
before you, applies immediately only to three projects, its enactment 
would lay down a new principle that rips from the reclamation law 
the basic justification for the Federal Government to advance interest- 
free money collected from all over the United States for the construc- 
tion of irrigation systems to serve family-size farms in the arid and 
semiarid West. And this bill would renounce a basic Federal Govern- 
ment policy in reclamation now in effect to extend assistance to the 
largest number possible of family farm owners and to protect them 
from the evils of speculation in enhanced land values which almost 
always result from the reclamation development. 

Now, the Department of the Interior — and as I mention the De- 
partment I want to point out, Mr. Chairman, that the Department's 
report is now before the committee, to be entered where you see fit. 

The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation, 
in opposing S. 912, support the family-size-farm principle and the 
continuation of the antispeculation provisions in the reclamation law. 
Tampering with either or both of these principles would play directly 
into the hands of anyone who seeks to nullify the program by with- 
holding appropriations for irrigation development. These forces can 
cripple a national program of 45 } T ears' duration and thereby deprive 
many, many thousands of settlers or war veterans of opportunities to 
settle on good family-size farms on what is in truth the Nation's last 
frontier, which is reclaimed land in the 17 Western States. 

To show something of the scope of what is at stake here, I should 
like to submit for the record a tabulation of the reclamation con- 



86 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 



struction program of $2,000,000,000 in authorized projects which yet 
remain to be built, but which are already authorized by the Congress. 
I also submit a summary of the reclamation program since 1902. 

Senator Ecton. The documents will be made a part of the record. 

(The documents referred to are as follows:) 

Summary of reclamation program 

Authorized program : 

Estimated cost (current prices) $3, 000, 000, 000 

Expenditures to date (approximate) $1,000,000,000 

Remaining to be expended I $2,000,000,000 

Number of projects in operation 54 

Number of additional projects, units, etc., authorized and in 

construction status 128 

Acreage now served, full supply or supplemental water 4, 100, 000 

Number of farms now actually served, full or supplemental 

supply 89, 000 

Number of farms in projects 108, 978 

Additional acreage in authorized program, new and supple- 
mental 10, 861, 000 

Additional farms to be served 120 r 524 

Total acreage under authorized program 14, 961, 000 

Total ultimate irrigated farms under authorized program 209, 524 

Present power installations (kw) 2,363,000 

Authorized additional power installations (kw) 4,589,000 

Total approved power (kw) 6,952,000 

Total crop values produced on reclamation served land 1906- 

46 $5, 500, 000, 000 

Total population on farms and in areas served by irrigation and 

power developments 4, 200, 000 

Ultimate population on same basis when authorized program is 

completed 10, 000, 000 



Summary — Project development schedule — Irrigation projects currently under 
or authorized for construction and development, public and private land, acres 
and farms, yet to receive water from reclamation projects 





[Excludes development completed 


prior to Fiscal year 1947] 










Public land 


Private land 


Total 




Full supply 


Supplemental ' 




Acres 


Farms 


Acres 


Farms 


Acres 


Farms 


Acres 


Farms 


Fiscal year 1947. . 


33, 240 
53, 650 
139, 386 


383 

632 

1,702 


72, 490 

145, 450 

6, 142, 123 


773 

1,933 

65, 511 


95, 500 

280, 000 

3, 899, 823 


1,128 

3,400 
45, 029 


201, 230 

479, 100 

10,181,332 


2,284 


Fiscal year 1948. . 


5,965 


Balance to complete. . . 




112,242 


Ultimate development 


226, 276 


2,717 


6, 360, 063 


68, 217 


4, 275, 323 


49, 557 


10, 861, 662 


120, 491 



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£5 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 91 

Mr. Straus. On the other three projects which S. 912 would exempt 
from the tested provisions of the reclamation law, only one — the Cen- 
tral Valley project in California, which we discussed yesterday — is now 
under construction. Recent experiences before the House of Repre- 
sentatives, where many fought for weeks to get adequate construction 
funds to advance the irrigation features of the Central Valley as well 
as other projects, showed that it is possible to delay construction on 
this project 'and to delay delivery of badly needed supplemental water 
to the San Joaquin Valle}\ And I want to caution against any tam- 
pering with the reclamation law that will give any interests an oppor- 
tunity to extend these attacks on the national resource development 
program, which is not the Central Valley alone, which is everything 
in the reclamation world from the Rio Grande to the Columbia and 
the Pacific Ocean. 

The construction estimates for the Central Valley project which were 
recommended by the President this year were cut two-thirds, and many 
years will elapse before the vast areas in the San Joaquin Valley will 
get the relief which they have been promised and to which they are 
entitled. Such bills as S. 912 give any of these opponents more ammu- 
nition to fire at our program. I have been asked by easterners, "Why 
should we vote money for the West unless the law provides at least 
a mathematical opportunity for people from the East to go out and 
settle on these lands that are to be developed"? And the only way, 
of course, they can settle is where the holdings are divided so as to 
give them an opportunity to settle on such projects. 

The other two projects which are mentioned in S. 912 are the San 
Luis Valley, in Colorado, and the Valley Gravity and Storage project, 
in Texas. Neither of these two is actually under construction, and 
appropriations available are barely sufficient to complete necessary 
field investigations and perhaps start limited construction. Changes 
in plans may require new authorizations before actual construction 
can begin on them. The Bureau of Reclamation recognizes that the 
climatic and geographical conditions in the San Luis Valley, which is 
in the high mountains of Colorado, differ from those of both the 
Central Valley and the Valley Gravity in the Rio Grande Valley of 
Texas. The Valley Gravity and the Central Valley, however, in 
climatic conditions, are quite similar. Such consideration would un- 
doubtedly be used — such consideration as this bill — such action as this 
bill — could be used as a club for breaking through the barricade that 
was set up originally by Senator Newlands, of Nevada, who is often 
called the father of the reclamation law, who tried to provide in that 
law against a large-scale, big, or corporate farming and speculators 
who might seek to benefit from the expenditure of the interest-free 
congressional appropriations for the development of western water 
and land resources. 

Before, during, and since the enactment of the original reclamation 
law, powerful interests have frequently sought to abandon the basic 
principles in this program for the benefit of a few, and to open the 
Federal Treasury to large, individual, and corporate, sometimes even 
monopolistic, landowners, either for irrigated farming or for specula- 
tion, and we protest against any such attempts. 

Special consideration in this instance is sought for less than, I 
believe, 500 prospective reclamation water users in the Central Valley 
of California. 



92 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Downey. I did not quite understand that statement, Mr. 
Straus. 

Mr. Straus. Speaking of those who would benefit from the con- 
sideration sought here, I say that it would affect, we estimate, 500 
excess landowners in the Central Valley area surveyed in the spring 
of 1946 by the Bureau of Reclamation for the Landownership Survey 
of Federal Reclamation Projects. 

Senator Downey. If I may ask a question, you mean over the entire 
Sacramento and San Joaquin ? 

Mr. Straus. Over the area surveyed in 1946 on the presently au- 
thorized project; yes. 

Senator Downey. Yes. 

Senator Ecton. Less than 500. 

Senator Downey. Less than 500. 

Mr. Straus. The number is only slightly more in either the areas 
surveyed on the San Luis Valley or the Valley Gravity and Storage 
projects; and we figure that, in all, about 1,000 or 1,100 excess land- 
owners on these three projects would gain great financial advantage, 
somewhat at the expense of some 29,000 family-size farms and ranch 
owners for whose benefit the reclamation law is clearly intended 

Senator Ecton. Mr. Straus, just a minute. Did you mean 110 
excess landholders, or 1,100? 

Mr. Straus. Eleven hundred; 1,100. Did I make a mistake? 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I meant 1,100. 

Senator Downey. But it is less than 500, your statement, in the 
Central Valley? 

Mr. Straus. Yes; in the area we surveyed which were the future 
service areas of the Contra Costa and Friant Divisions of the project. 

Senator Downey. Yes. And you state they would gain great finan- 
cial advantage by the elimination ? 

Mr. Straus. Yes. Thy would be the excess holders that would gain 
all the aids and benefits — and we always like to call them "aids" 
instead of "subsidy" — of the Federal reclamation law. 

Now, as Reclamation Commissioner since December 1945, I have 
been quite well aware of the challenge to reclamation in connection 
with the Bureau's support of acreage limitations and the antispecu- 
lation provisions of the reclamation law, and the Bureau has accepted 
that challenge. Opponents of acreage limitation, the antispeculation 
features of the law, have sought in many ways to smother the good 
results that this basic principle has, in my opinion, provided, by 
making various statements as to the amount of violation there is 
of the existent law. 

To ascertain the true situation on all projects in operation and an 
indication as to the excess-land problem on projects authorized and 
under construction, the Bureau of Reclamation conducted a land- 
ownership survey a few months ago of all projects in operation and 
of a selected group of projects under or authorized for construction. 
I point out that this was a West-wide, 17-State survey ; and I would 
like the committee to bear in mind the differentiation between that 
and the figures offered yesterday, which had to do with the Central 
Valley alone. 

The results of this survey have been published in printed form, 
which are the Landownership Survey on Federal Reclamation Proj- 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 93 

ects, which we think is probably the most complete document available 
anywhere, and there is quite a library on this material. 

(The document referred to, marked "Exhibit C," is filed with the 
committee. The title is : "Landownership Survey on Federal Recla- 
mation Projects — U. S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Recla- 
mation.") 

Mr. Straus. I should like to present at the same time, at this point, 
a copy of Senate Document, Print No. 13, of the Seventy-ninth Con- 
gress, entitled, "Small Business and the Community," which we shall 
offer here for what information it may have entitled: "A Study In 
Central Valley of California on Effects of Scale of Farm Operations" ; 
and a copy of the History of Legislation and Policy Formation of 
the Central Valley Project, by Mary Montgomery and Marion Claw- 
son, employees, at the time of publication, of the Bureau of Agricul- 
tural Economics of the Department of Agriculture, published March 
1946 ; also a copy of the Agricultural Landownership and Operation 
in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, another Government publication, 
by Edwin E. Wilson and Marion Clawson, of the Bureau of Agricul- 
tural Economics of the Department of Agriculture, which came out 
in 1945. 

Now, that is about 2 pounds of literature, Mr. Chairman. There are 
several hundred pounds that could be produced here, but I will not 
litter up the committee's files with all of that. 

(The documents referred to, marked "Exhibits D, E, and F," are 
filed with the committee. 

Mr. Straus. In part I of the Landownership Survey on Federal Rec- 
lamation Projects, which is the product of the Bureau of Reclamation, 
there is presented factual information that establishes the integrity 
and faithfulness of a great majority of water users on reclamation pro- 
jects who have complied with the acreage-limitation and antispecula- 
tion features of the reclamation law. I should like to pay tribute to 
their good faith and good example, and I strenuously object to this 
great body of good citizens being paraded, as I have heard done as if 
most of them were law breakers, because they have complied with the 
existing law. 

For instance, in projects in operation and receiving water in 1946, 
which are capable of serving a total of 108,978 farms which embraced 
4,460,000 acres which were covered by this survey, the ownerships are 
predominately in family-size holdings — holdings within the reclama- 
tion acreage limitation. Ninety-seven percent of those ownerships are 
160 acres or less, and less than 1 percent exceed 320 acres. Those are 
the projects now in operation all over the West. 

Only eight -tenths of 1 percent — I repeat, eight-tenths of 1 per- 
cent — of the water users on these projects that are in operations hold 
land in known excess of the legal limitations. That is by ownership. 
These known excess areas amount to 3.7 percent of the total irrigable 
acreage in projects now in operation; that is by acreage as differen- 
tiated from ownership. 

It is true, Mr. Chairman, that there is and has been that much non- 
compliance with the acreage-limitation provisions pi the reclamation 
law. Noncompliance is confined to a comparatively few reclamation 
projects. Many of them show a 100-percent compliance. The Bureau 
of Reclamation is the first to publish these facts, and that publication 

62453—47 7 



94 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

not only establishes the facts but it also disposes of any extravagant 
or exaggerated statements as to the amount of noncompliance with the 
existent law, or any statements that the existent law is generally 
ignored. 

No other statute of the consequence and character and scope of this 
provision in the reclamation law, that I know of, has been much better 
or even as well observed, and I should like to commend the more than 
100,000 owners of family-sized farms on reclamation projects who 
have kept their holdings within the limitations of the law. In the 
case of the relatively few water users whose holdings exceed the limita- 
tion, the Bureau of Reclamation is endeavoring to secure compliance, 
and it is confident that with the support of the Congress full com- 
pliance can be effected voluntarily. It is equally transparent, in my 
opinion, that without such support of the Congress — and that with 
annual or monthly individual Congressional promises that the basic 
law will be changed — the Bureau, which works for and not against 
the Congress, will be prevented from succeeding in carrying out the 
instructions of the Congress. 

We are not a prosecuting agency. The Bureau of Reclamation seeks 
to secure voluntary compliance with the laws for the administration 
of which it is responsible. Its main objective is to advance the orderly 
economic development of the water and land resources of the West, 
and 45 years of experience have shown that the principles enunciated 
by the founders of the reclamation law can best be achieved through 
adherence to the principle of the family-size farm. 

Now, I would like to point out to you what is happening right in 
California, and right in the heart of the Central Valley of California, 
where water users and landowners for more than 30 years have been 
in full compliance with the acreage limitation of the reclamation law. 
This example is in the Orland, Calif., project, which happens to be 
the only completed Federal reclamation project in operation in the 
Central Valley of California, from which all this ruckus arises. I 
might point out that that project is between Sacramento and Redding 
and has been there a number of years. It is almost in the-*— well, not 
quite- the geographical center of the Central Valley. But there is the 
place that you can see how this law works out. Here is a development 
where private owners of irrigable lands within the project voluntarily 
broke up their holdings; and today, after more than 30 years of opera- 
tion, it does not have a single violation of the excess-land provision. 
That is quite a cue as to whether it is possible, or not, to operate under 
this regulation. 

The Orland (Calif.) Register, which is a local population, under 
date of March 3, of this year, a couple of months ago, comments on the 
record of the Orland project in this regard, under an editorial which 
is captioned "Why All the Squawk?", and I shall read a few pertinent 
paragraphs from that on-the-ground editorial ; and I do not know the 
editor or anything about this publication. I gave you the caption; 
he goes on to say : 

The Reclamation Act as conceived by Teddy Roosevelt and his progressive 
aide, Gifford Pinchot, was designed to build communities of small, self-sustain- 
ing, independent farmers on small acreage, and not to encourage the construc- 
tion of farm factories, such as can now be found in the San Joaquin, and from 
which a good share of the yelping is coming; farm factories of not 320 acres, 
but corporation-owned farm factories of two, four, and ten thousand acres 






CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 95 

This is the editor's language and not mine. He continues : 

The Orland project, protected by this 160-acre limit, is a mighty good example 
of the intent of this reclamation principle. 

Had no limitation been put on the acreage, much of the lands of the Orland 
project, a Federal project, would still be held in a half dozen pioneer families. 

. The editor continues : 

When the sign-up for the barren lands of the project got under way in 1909 
and 1910, the big landowners were limited to 160 acres on which they could get 
Federal irrigation. The rest of their lands had to be broken up and sold off. 

I do not know at all how many landowners there are there now — 
they are all compliers with the law — but there are several dozen 
anyway. 
- The editor continues : 

As a result we have dozens of independent families on lands which otherwise 
would have remained in the name of the original owners or their heirs, and 
Orland today is a natural, prosperous American community. 

And then the editor concludes : 

Incidentally, not one acre of the Orland project was Government land and 
the 160-acre limit certainly has worked beneficially here. 

Now, that it what that editor had to say about it. The outstanding 
example at Orland might have, but it has not, had the effect of silenc- 
ing any critics of acreage limitation. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, could I intervene with a question 
here? 

Mr. Straus. Yes. 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead, Senator. 

Senator Downey. Would not you frankly state to the chairman 
of this committee that we have literally hundreds of such communi- 
ties scattered all over California with acreages just as small as around 
Orland? 

Mr. Straus. I think that that would be true, and I think that it 
would also be true that many of those communities are on private 
irrigation projects. I do not know the land pattern of the private 
irrigation projects. 

Senator Downey. As a matter of fact, isn't it true that the area 
around Fresno and Sacramento is broken into even smaller average- 
size farms than around the Orland district — around Turlock and 
Modesto ? 

Mr. Straus. I believe in the Fresno district, in that area, there 
are some holdings in excess of 160 acres and many, many holdings 
less than 160 acres. 

I shall continue : 

Representing the Bureau of Reclamation, I should like to say that 
I have full confidence in the willingness of Californians to comply 
with this law, and better confidence perhaps than some of their own 
spokesmen who profess to speak for the water users who they assert — 
we heard it asserted yesterday — that these people would get around 
this law. I assume that they must be speaking for absent and un- 
revealed principals who are excess landholders — not excess now, be- 
cause they only become excess after Federal reclamation water is de- 
livered, and that is the water that they seek to get. 



96 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Downey. Now, Mr. Chairman, could I intervene with an- 
other question ? 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead, Senator. 

Senator Downey. Are you suggesting to us, Mr. Straus, that there 
is not widespread evasion of the reclamation limitation in most of 
the reclamation proj ects ? Is that what you are telling us ? 

Mr. Straus. I described exactly, Senator, the amount of violation 
that there is, mathematically, in the reclamation projects ; and whether 
you wish to characterize it as widespread or otherwise, would be a 
matter of opinion. 

Senator Downey. Well, I am asking you this, and I think it fairly 
admits of a categorical answer : Are you attempting to advise this 
committee that there is not widespread evasion 

Mr. Straus. I advise this committee 

Senator Downey. May I finish, please ? 

Mr. Straus. Certainly. 

Senator Downey. Of the reclamation limitation in most of the 
reclamation projects in the West? And I think that admits fairly of 
a j r es or no answer. I just want to interpret your testimony. 

Mr. Straus. The answer is : There is eight-tenths of 1 percent viola- 
tion by landownership and 3.7 percent of violation by acreage. 

Senator Downey. And you accept that figure as correct ? 

Mr. Straus. I accept that figure, sir. 

I submit that neither the Congress nor any other lawmaking body 
would give much consideration to repealing, say, such things as the 
antitrust laws, which are to protect the public from that form of 
monopoly, because there are a few violations. And by the same cri- 
terion I do not think anybody would dream of knocking out laws 
against thievery or murder or assault because there is not a 100-percent 
compliance therewith — and there isn't. 

In making this landownership survey, the Bureau sought the best 
data available on a group of nine projects that are under construction 
or authorized for construction. 

I want to point out the difference there. The figures I gave before 
were for projects now in operation. Now I am coming to projects that 
are under construction or authorized for construction and do not have 
long records of operation. 

And in it you could refer to table 7 on page 26 of that report, which 
includes data on the landownership pattern for the Central Valley and 
the San Luis Valley and the Valley Gravity projects, in Texas. 

In the case of the Central Valley, the report shows that less than 4 
percent of the ownerships in the area surveyed exceeded the acreage 
limitations applicable in California, which are 160 acres per individual 
ownership or 320 acres for a man and wife under their California 
community-property law, which is not distinctive for California: I 
think Texas has a community property law. It might affect the Valley 
Gravity project. And some other States do too. 

The number of ownerships of excess land that were covered by the 
survey, and the survey embraced principal parts of the service area, 
were 469 out of 9,590, and the excess owners had title to — this is, in 
other words, in acreage as differentiated from ownership — 256,000 
acres or about a third of the total of 774,000 acres which was surveyed. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 97 

In making this survey, we went after the real facts because we and 
everybody else were more or less in a sea of guessing until somebody 
make this survey, and because we thought that the Congress, at this 
hearing which we foresaw, and the people, were entitled to the facts. 

We have made all the basic data of the Central Valley survey avail- 
able to Senator Downey, and the Senator has pointed out ways in which 
he thought we should go further with this survey, and I think that they 
were very good suggestions. 

It was rather expensive and difficult business, because you not only 
had to find the land where the title was ; you also had to find out the 
owner's present marital status ; whether the land was held by a corpo.- 
ration or partnership, whether it was held by an estate of 2 years or 
less duration, whether it was held by Federal, State, or local govern- 
ment agencies, and other facts before you could tell how applicable this 
was. 

As a result of the discussions with Senator Downey, approximately 
83,000 of the excess acres in 79 ownerships to which the Bureau is 
delivering water only under temporary contracts — and some duplica- 
tions and errors — were eliminated from the survey. A revised tabu- 
lation worked out in connection with and at the request of Senator 
Downey — and I think it was a very good request, and supplied him — 
showed that 142,000 acres, or 23 percent, of the area surveyed in the 
San Joaquin Valley exceeds the acreage limitation ; and only 284, or 
3 percent, of the owners in the area surveyed in the San Joaquin Valley 
would have excess holdings under the reclamation law. 

Now, you probably should and would want to take into account also 
the excess land in the San Joaquin Valley which was not covered in 
the survey. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, if I might intervene now, merely 
to clarify the record. 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead, Senator. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Straus, in the landownership survey pam- 
phlet of the Bureau of Reclamation which you introduced, it was there 
shown that 33.1 percent of the total area was in excess holdings. Now 
I understand you to sav that, partly due to suggestions that I made, 
there were corrections of error made in that ; and you believe, as more 
truly or justly representing the conditions, the excess percent is only 
23.02, as appears upon the chart that I presented yesterday ; is that cor- 
rect — which was given me by your Bureau ? 

Mr. Straus. Twenty-three percent in the area surveyed ; I imagine 
that is the representation of it there. 

Senator Downey. Yes. 

Mr. Straus. Twenty-three percent. And that embraces about 200 
and — well, I gave that. I said we also should take into account the 
excess land in the San Joaquin Valley which was not covered in this 
survey, and the excess acreage would approximate that — that approx- 
imation would approximate the total known excess of 165.000 acres 
on all other reclamation projects in the United States which have 
received water — which did receive water in 1946. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, if I may intervene again. 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead. Senator. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Straus, do I understand that your representa- 
tives who prepared these data consider the survey that they made and 



98 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

the results shown as about what would be typical of the San Joa- 
quin Valley and/or perhaps the Sacramento Valley too? 

Mr. Straus. Well, yes. They were instructed to make, and I be- 
lieve that they did, a survey that was as typical as could be found 
of the areas of the San Joaquin studied, in their own intimate knowl- 
edge of them. It, needless to say, did not cover the entire San Joa- 
quin Valley which will eventually be served by the comprehensive 
plan of the Bureau. As a matter of fact, the exact service area of the 
project will not be known until all the water is delivered to it. Mr. 
Johnston, of our Sacramento staff, will go into this in more detail later 
in this hearing. 

Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Straus, just to make this chart clear : 
I understand that in determining the amount of excess land you first 
deducted from the total amount 160 acres for each man that you be- 
lieved to be single, 160 acres for each corporation, and 320 acres 
for a married man and his wife. That is correct, isn't it ? 

Mr. Strauss. That would be correct ; yes. 

Senator Downey. And likewise you deducted those parcels of land 
held by public agencies, including universities, and likewise the land 
that was held in estates. 

Mr. Straus. Yes. 

Senator Downey. And on the basis of that 

Mr. Straus. Estate land being subject to some sort of change as 
the estate liquidated, or whatever happened to it. 

Senator Downey. And on the basis of that you found these results : 
There were 9,366 owners — and with that total acreage, now — of 619,- 
688 acres, or an average holding of about 66 acres : and on the average 
holding of the excess acres you found 284 proprietors with 142,622 
acres of excess land, an average of about 500 acres of excess per 
holding for the excess proprietors. 

Now, that is correct, is it not? 

Mr. Straus. That is correct, isn't it, Mr. Lineweaver? 

Mr. Lineweaver. That is correct. 

Mr. Straus. That is correct, Mr. Lineweaver points out. 

Senator Downey. And the average of 500 acres of excess is what you 
referred to as these huge areas in the San Joaquin Valley? 

Mr. Straus. They range from a few acres to very large holdings, 
and they come down to some such average for lands in excess of 320 
for man and wife. 

Senator Ecton. You may continue, Mr. Straus. 

Mr. Straus. I reiterate, Mr. Chairman, that the proposed abroga- 
tion of the acre-limitation and antispeculation provisions of the recla- 
mation law would benefit less than 284 landowners in the surveyed area 
of the Central Valley under the factual survey that we have worked out 
and worked on with Senator Downey. Now. whether it is 400 or 
500 or a thousand big landowners or corporations which would benefit 
from those interest-free Federal construction funds, were this nullifi- 
cation proposal to pass, is beside the point. The price is too much to 
pay for scuttling this basic policy on which reclamation was founded, 
which is 

Senator Downey. Mr. Straus, if you could just strike out that last 
statement and let me intervene with one question before I leave it : Is 
it not true that in this excess acreage are many, many parcels of what 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 99 

we call economic units of irrigated pasture or irrigated grain land or 
some other type of farm land upon which no one can hope to make a 
living unless they have, say, 640 acres ? Is that not true ? 

Mr. Straus. I think that that would be true for a small part of this 
service area as of now, under the presently existing conditions, with- 
out available water in many instances. What the conditions would be 
when water became available would be another matter. Under the 
reclamation law as now written it would naturally change. Large 
ownership of this sort would nowhere be necessary to support families 
on irrigated land. 

Senator Downey. Well, in your total survey, what percentage of the 
lands did you find to be what we might call second- or third-rate lands, 
including irrigated pasture and irrigated grain lands and the heavy 
lands? 

Mr. Straus. Well, quite — I do not have the exact figures, but I am 
going to present them at this hearing. 

Senator Downey. As a matter of fact, I think about a quarter each, 
Mr. Kerr's report shows. 

Mr. Straus. Yes. 

Senator Downey. Now, you do not mean to say that, merely because 
we have project water it would require less than 500 acres of land — 
for a man to make a living on, say, irrigated grain ? 

Mr. Straus. Well, I believe that you can run very prosperous agri- 
cultural enterprises, even including dairy farms, within the acreage 
limitation. 

Senator Downey. Well, you can run a dairy farm on a few city lots — 
a commercial dairy. 

Mr. Straus. Nobody is interfering with, nor could we interfere, 
nor would the law apply to, any holdings in any kind of ownership 
to which we did not deliver water, or there in connection with the 
farmer on certain land that did not need to be irrigated. There are 
not many wood lots there, or that kind of thing, or dry pasture. 

Senator Downey. Yes. But, Mr. Straus, this survey which you 
state you believe a fair and typical one, and I do too, and I congratu- 
late you on it, and I appreciate your courtesy to me in connection with, 
shows out of this whole area only the minor amount of 23 percent is in 
excess holdings under your rulings as the titles presently exist. 

What I am pointing out is that in that 23 percent — and we will be 
here with the proof of it, Mr. Straus — are many, many parcels of 500 
or 1,000 acres of the type of land in the Central Valley that a man 
cannot make a living on unless he holds 500 acres or 1,000 acres. 

Now, you yourself realize in your land classification there are such 
kinds of land and parcels, don't you ? 

Mr. Straus. Oh, there is no doubt that there is land there that is 
much poorer than other land. There is no doubt that there is land 
there in some areas of the valley that the Bureau would not irrigate, 
nor would you let us, but it was not included in the area surveyed. The 
acreage figures we gave you include only irrigable land of the sort 
now farmed in most areas in much smaller holdings than 320 acres. 

Senator Ecton. Do you not feel, Senator, if it takes 500 acres of 
irrigated land to make it profitable to farm, that it is a pretty fair 
conclusion that that land is not worth irrigating in the first place ? 



100 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Downey. Oh, no, Senator. Some of our most favorable 
lands from the standpoint of a balanced agricultural economy are 
in our irrigated grain and irrigated pasture. California has an ex- 
ceedingly unbalanced agricultural economy. By that I mean we have 
to ship in from the Middle West immense amounts, of our feed. We 
are a State of highly specialized crops, and we need very badly all 
the grain we can raise for our poultry and livestock industries. 

We do find that what we term economic units — that is the highest 
value that the land can be put to, we believe, from every viewpoint — 
in certain cases of irrigated grain and irrigated pasturage, require 
a section or perhaps two sections; or in some cases (for instance, in 
the Tulare Lake Basin) much larger units; and I believe the Bureau 
of Reclamation probably agrees with what was said by Mr. Harding 
about the Tulare Lake Basin not being a suitable place for small homes. 

Mr. Chairman, in connection with this now, with what Mr. Straus is 
now saying, I want to point out that on this chart prepared by the 
Bureau of Reclamation the Madera irrigation district is said to have 
almost 37,000 acres of excess lands. I have here a telegram from Harry 
Barns, the engineer of the Madera irrigation district, in which he makes 
this statement : 

Thirteen holdings over 640 acres in dry farmed grain totaling 20,959 acres. 
Also two holdings each 640 acres — 

or a total of about 22,000 acres, the telegram had, 

estimated 75 percent of area — 

referring to areas, of course, 

reasonably irrigable. 

So, the point that I want to make is that of this almost 37,000 
acres of excess land in the Madera 22,000 acres is and has been dry- 
farmed to grain ; and we will later show that at present, and probably 
for a long time, it will not be of any value except for irrigated grain 
or irrigated pasture, because it is rough land; it is a poor quality 
of land; and the only point I am trying to make here is, while un- 
doubtedly I think your figure of 23 percent of excess land of the 
total is correct, that in a rational, realistic appraisal of just what the 
conditions are in California, we have to know what percent of that 
23 percent is now in such units that no one would want to break them 
down, i. e., the grain lands, rice lands, irrigated pastures, heavy lands 
and others restricted to definitely lower uses. 

I do not want to labor that point. That is all. 

Mr. Straus. We will break this down just as far as we think it 
humanly possible, and I am sure you and your associates will do so 
too, Senator, before we get done. 

Senator Downey. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Straus. 

Mr. Straus. Now, I have been discussing the mechanics, the prin- 
ciple, the figures, and the statistics, and such items. I think it is 
highly in order that this committee should look at some of the his- 
torical background and other factors that have brought us to where 
we are today in connection with acreage restriction and reclama- 
tion. That policy has been consistently and frequently reaffirmed, 
and the means to implement that policy have been changed from time 
to time for the purpose of making the policy more effective. Through- 
out the whole history of acreage limitation on federal reclamation 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 101 

projects the fundamental objectives have been to povide an oppor- 
tunity for the maximum number of actual settlers or farmers on the 
land, by limiting the acreage to which water could be supplied, and 
to that acreage sufficient for what seems to be generous support of a 
family in the American standard of living and to prevent specula- 
tion in project areas. And of course when you talk of the San Joaquin, 
we have possibly the most wonderful farming area, agricultural pro- 
duction area, that we know of in this country. 

Senator Ecton. That policy has not been departed from since the 
first reclamation law was passed ; is that it ? 

Mr. Straus. Not since 1902 when the first reclamation act was 
passed. It was written 

Senator Downey. Mr. Straus, before you leave that: You don't 
quite mean that? In a majority of the supplemental projects Con- 
gress itself has waived the law, hasn't it ? 

Mr. Straus. It has not. No, sir. It has in two projects. 

Senator Downey. Out of how many ? 

Mr. Straus. Oh, I do not know how many — about 60. It has in 
just two projects : one in Colorado and one in Nevada. 

Senator Downey. Two in Nevada, isn't it ? 

Mr. Straus. Two in Nevada. Two States. 

Now, that policy first written into the law on June 17, 1902, under 
an act that was passed at the suggestion of and during the admin- 
istration of President Theodore Roosevelt, and it has been a basic 
tenet in reclamation. I think I might read the exact quotation of the 
law. It says: 

* * * No right to use the water for land in private ownership shall be sold 
for a tract exceeding 160 acres to any one landowner. . . . 

That is a legal quotation from 32 Stat. 388, sec. 5. 

That has been carried forward in various other acts since that time, 
and in the past century, past half century — well, past full century, 
hardly a session of Congress has been silent in expressing the national 
will to extend and encourage the establishment of family-sized farm- 
ing. The impact of moves to favor land monopolies have hit Congress 
and studded congressional history for more than a hundred years. 
Now the battle began way back before the reclamation program, before 
there was any reclamation program, wa} T back in the Preemption Act 
of 1841, which had a fixed acreage limitation, which was passed in the 
administration of President Tyler, where we discussed, or our prede- 
cessors discussed, this thing back when we decided whether the West 
would be opened up by speculators or whether the actual settlers would 
be placed on an equal or preferential basis to the spectators. Then 
came the Homestead Act of 1862, in the administration of President 
Lincoln, and they were the forerunners of the policy laid down in the 
^Reclamation Act of 1902, under Theodore Koosevelt, and to which 
Congress has adhered ever since. 

There have been a long series of attacks over a 45-year period, but 
this basic tenet has remained the unshattered cornerstone of Federal 
reclamation on which reclamation rests through all those attacks. 
Not only that, but the policy has been reaffirmed by Congress in legis- 
lation for Federal irrigation no less than 13 times : in 1906, 1910, 1911, 
1912, 1914, 1916, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1937, 1938, 1940, and 1943, action 



102 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

was taken. It is, in truth, as basic a policy of American democracy as 
can be found in any of the statute books. It is American as Tyler and 
Lincoln and Roosevelt — Teddy Roosevelt, Taft, Woodrow Wilson, 
Coolidge, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Under all of their administra- 
tions this policy was upheld. 

Time and again moves have been made to hamstring the reclamation 
program and limit the number of people who would receive its benefits 
by opening the treasury to larger landowners through reclamation. 
Members of this committee will recall that the Congress last spoke 
most emphatically on this subject in 1944. In that year it rejected a 
parallel effort to exempt the Central Valley project from the excess- 
land limitations of the reclamation law. Congress was unwilling at 
that time, 3 years ago, to confer on the large holders — corporations 
or in some instances, individual monopolists — of the San Joaquin Val- 
ley the benefits of interest-free Federal funds for irrigation without 
requiring them to comply with the acreage-restriction law. 

Now, that is on the Federal side. We as a people were also at work 
on the State side. This is a California matter. When California 
wrote its own State constitution about 70 years ago, it embraced acre- 
age limitation with equal vigor. California, which, as we have said, 
is a community-property State, provides in its own basic law, and I 
will quote it exactly, that : 

The holdings of large tracts of land, uncultivated and unimproved, by individ- 
uals or corporations, is against the public interest, and should be discouraged by 
all means not inconsistent with the rights of private property. 

Continuing : 

Lands belonging to this State, which are suitable for cultivation, shall be 
granted only to actual settlers, and in quantities not exceeding 320 acres to each 
settler. * * * 

This is from article 17, sections 2 and 3, of the California Constitu- 
tion adopted in 1879. And it was written long before irrigaton made 
intensive agriculture possible in so much of California. 

When the Bureau of Reclamation irrigates any California land, it 
does nothing more than to make it — to quote California's Constitu- 
tion — "suitable for cultivation." In truth it cannot be stated that 
there is any difference in objectives between the Federal and State 
laws on this point, and I do not happen to know of any move by 
Californians to repeal these wise provisions in their own State con- 
stitution. 

Now, we sometimes hear that acreage limitation is a good policy — 
generally a good policy — but that it should not be applied here or 
there or some other place. Here we are hearing it should not be ap- 
plied three places. In the Central Valley of California, where the 
land pattern has already become somewhat established, we are told 
by a few that it is inapplicable even though it might be a good thing 
elsewhere — say, on desert lands, for example. We are told that it 
should not be used when the interest-free Federal taxpayers' money 
goes to aid to develop an area by bringing to it supplemental waters, 
as differentiated from complete irrigation. 

If the pleaders mean by that that the reclamation law should be 
applied only to the lands irrigated by water made available by the 
Federal project, and not to that portion of a man's land which is ir- 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 103 

rigated solely under his existing preproject water right, the Bureau 
says we agree — for I believe that is the intent of the present law, and 
it always has been the practice of the Bureau of Reclamation to so 
administer the law. 

If there remains any confusion on this point, I should like to repeat : 
The Bureau always has, under present legislation, recognized and ob- 
served valid existing water rights, and always will do so ; it does not 
and will not attempt to enforce limitations on any farm or portion of 
farm that is not irrigated by Federal project water. 

I think this committee understands that perfectly, but it is not 
popularly understood. Some people seem to think that we are going 
to apply — seeking to apply — this type of restriction in this law to lands 
to which we are not furnishing water, and I am trying to correct that 
impression. 

Senator Ectox. Mr. Straus, I am glad you brought that up. From 
the testimony already given here it has been admitted that a great 
portion of this land is not irrigable and that it would not pay to 
irrigate it even if you had the water to put on it. I think it should 
be definitely stated, and you have done so, that the limitation law 
under the reclamation act does not apply to that land which is not 
irrigated, and even if the parties concerned determine that it was not 
worth irrigating, you have no intention of imposing the acreage lim- 
itation on that kind of land even though it comes within the radius of 
the project. 

Mr. Straus. No. sir. You are entirely correct, Mr. Chairman. The 
point and time of application of this law is the delivery by the Bureau 
of Reclamation of water to land. 

I failed to, or it was not brought out yesterday, Senator Watkins, 
in connection with one of your questions, as to how this project 
went ahead before all of these repayment contracts were signed. 
Well, it is true that that is the way to get complete compliance — just 
do nothing until all the repayment contracts have been signed. Then 
j'ou do not have any of this bother that we have now. The Central 
Valley Project happened to go forward under a work relief act. 
What the reclamation law provides and where this limitation becomes 
effective is not when you consider a project or commence the con- 
struction, or some other positive move — make an appropriation. 
Where the law applies and where the acreage restriction becomes effec- 
tive is upon delivery of the water, which may be 5 or 10 or 15 years, 
or under the present rate of progress may be 30 years, after the program 
is first undertaken. 

Senator Ectox. In other words, there is no limitation until you 
deliver the water ? 

Mr. Straus. That is right. The law as written specifies — is a man- 
date laid on the Secretary of the Interior by the Congress — that he 
shall not deliver — and that is where it becomes effective — deliver 
water to a single ownership in excess of 160 acres. 

Senator Ectox. Mr. Straus, you mentioned these large land holdings 
within the project, and you referred to coroporate farming. Who does 
own this excess land? Is it individuals, or is it owned by corpora- 
tions ? Or is it owned by individuals who have stock in corporations ? 

Mr. Straus. All manner of ownership is there: Individuals and 
corporations which we can identify and give you the figures on cor- 



104 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

porations. We have the sizes of holdings in much of the area and can 
tell you approximately what part of each holding is entitled to receive 
water under the law and what part of each holding is in^ excess of 
acreage which may legitimately receive water from the project. 

Senator Ecton. Let me ask you this: If a corporation owns and 
operates 1,600 acres, we will say," and there are ten stockholders within 
this corporation, what would prevent a stockholder, instead of having 
stock in this corporation, to own 160 acres of land within the cor- 
poration ? 

Mr. Straus. I think he would bring himself into technical com- 
pliance with the law as now written. 

Senator Ecton. That is what I wondered. 

Mr. Straus. Yes; I think he would bring himself into technical 
compliance. Whether it would be spiritual compliance or not, I have 
no doubt [laughter], but the law goes to technical, legal compliance, 
and counsel advises me that that type of division would be com- 
pliance. 

Senator Ecton. That was what was running through my mind. 
If I own 160 acres out here in this project and feel that I can combine 
with my neighbors under a corporation and farm it more efficiently 
and more effectively and more profitably, it is my opinion that the 
Reclamation Bureau, as a protector of the public interest, would not 
be concerned with that. 

Mr. Straus. If you made such an arrangement, I do not think that 
you would ever hear from the Bureau of Reclamation on the subject. 
Presumably such a corporation would operate the lands but not own 
them. The individual owning them holds only 160 acres, you said. 

Senator Ecton. Well, I would just as soon own land in a corpora- 
tion as some paper stock. 

Mr. Straus. Well, the title would have to rest in an individual. 

Senator Ecton. Yes ; surely. 

Mr. Straus. May I present Mr. Clifford Fix, the chief counsel of tn^ 
Bureau of Reclamation. 

Senator Ecton. Very well. Do you have something to say, Mr. Fix * 

Mr. Fix. I should just like to say, in supplementing what Mr. Straus 
has just said, that it is my understanding that a corporation, as such, 
can own only 160 acres. 

Senator Ecton. Yes. 

Mr. Fix. But if the corporation, holding a certain amount of excess 
land, wanted to put the title in its stockholders, the stockholders could 
each own 160 acres, but they could not hold it as a corporation. They 
could hold it in joint ownership or as a partnership. 

Senator Ecton. There is no advantage in holding the title in the 
corporation, as I see it. 

Mr. Fix. You would have to dissolve the corporation. I mean it 
could be put 160 acres in each stockholder, and they could hold it indi- 
vidually, but the corporation as such could only hold 160 acres. 

Senator Ecton. I am bringing this up for this reason : There was 
something injected in the testimony as brought out by Senator Downey 
yesterday, that on the face of it, gives the appearance of being an 
unusual project. There are certain times during seasons and there 
are certain years when this whole project may be completely flooded 
out. There is no use to establish family-sized farms and homes, with 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 105 

barns and houses and all the outbuildings, and have them either 
washed away or damaged by flood. 

Mr. Straus. That is Tulare Lake. Dams already authorized will 
practically eliminate flooding of these lands when completed. 

Senator Ecton. If a man can own 160 acres or 80 acres or 20 
acres or 10 acres and wants to combine with his neighbors in a com- 
pany or a corporation, that is his business, and there should not be 
anything against it. When we refer to corporations, it is like com- 
munism. Whenever we call something a corporation, everybody gets 
alarmed about it, although a corporation simply means a great many 
little fellows who have combined together to perform a certain busi- 
ness or carry on a certain business. 

Mr. Straus. Carrying your thought one step further, in response 
to your previous question : The point of operation of the acreage-re- 
striction law is the point of delivery of water, and the point of restric- 
tion is ownership. Ownership does not foreclose any one of a half a 
dozen methods of operating an argicultural enterprise. 

Senator Ecton. That was my understanding. 

Mr. Straus. You can have a co-op. 

Senator Ecton. That is right. 

Mr. Straus. Or you can jointly own a threshing machine. 

Senator Ecton. That is right. 

Mr. Straus. Or a dragline, if you want a dike around an old lake 
bed, or anything like that. That is not concerned here. 

Senator Ecton. I thank you, Mr. Straus. It was my impression 
that that was what you had in mind, and you and I are in complete 
agreement on that. 

Mr. Straus. Yes. Thank you. 

Senator Watkins. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question or two ? 

Senator Ecton. Yes, Senator. 

Senator Watkins. As I understand it, from what you and Mr. 
Fix have said, if the corporation owns the property, has the title to it, 
the limitation does apply. 

Mr. Fix. That is right, sir. 

Mr. Straus. I should believe so. 

Senator Watkins. No matter how many stockholders are oper- 
ating, the ownership is the determining factor? 

Mr. Straus. The ownership where the title is ; that is correct, sir. 

Senator Watkins. And if the corporation owns the property, no 
matter whether they are operating it as a cooperative or how, the 
ownership is the thing that determines. They could not go ahead 
and use more than that or have a larger ownership than 160 acres? 

Mr. Fix. That is right, sir. 

Mr. Straus. They could not get water for a larger ownership. Yes. 
sir ; that is correct. 

Senator Watkins. And the only way they could do it is to have the 
corporation convey back to its stockholders the property, if the}* 
wanted to operate it and wanted to get that water, in the event they 
had any excess of 160 acres ? 

Mr. Fix. That is right, sir. 

Senator Ecton. Let us go one step further with this. In view 
of what has already been said, the only person who could be incon- 
venienced by the reclamation law as it stands now would be the in- 



106 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

dividual owner who owned more than 160 acres of land in the project 
and wha desired to obtain water for more than 160 acres and actually 
receive the delivery ? 

Mr. Straus. That is right — an individual or corporation owning 
more than 160 acres of irrigable land. That is correct. 

Senator Watkins. Just a minute. Is that correct? Now, as a 
matter of fact 

Senator Downey. That is what we have been contending, Mr. Chair- 
man. 

Senator Watkins. That would apply to every corporation that 
owns more than 160 acres, would it not ? 

Mr. Straus. Well, a corporation — I suppose a corporation — I am 
not a lawyer such as yourself, Mr. Downey, and Mr. Fix ; but a cor- 
poration is considered a legal person, isn't it ? 

Senator Watkins. That is right. Legal entity, artificial person. 

Mr. Straus. I included them in the chairman's questions. 

Senator Watkins. To get the practical effect of what you are 
just saying: In these communities in this valley and under this proj- 
ect, all corporations, if they wanted to get wate^ out of this project 
for the land, would have to divest themselves of all land in excess of 
160 acres? 

Mr. Fix. That is right, sir. 

Mr. Straus. If they wanted to get water for more than 160 acres 
they would have to sign a recordable contract to divest themselves of 
the excess land within 10 years. 

Senator Watkins. That would be the practical effect of it, and that 
would be the same thing for a partnership or individual : they would 
have to get rid of the excess land over and above 160 acres? 

Mr. Straus. That is right, if they want water under this. Each 
member of a partnership would have to divest himself of all irrigable 
land over 160 acres. 

Senator Watkins. That is right, if they want water under this 
project? 

Mr. Straus. Yes. 

Senator Watkins. And that is the reason why this bill is being in- 
troduced. They do not want to divest themselves of that owner- 
ship — not only corporations, but individuals and partnerships, be- 
cause they claim that it is not the proper way to operate in those large 
holdings, and that it would work a hardship. 

Mr. Straus. That is correct. 

Senator Watkins. That is among the reasons that are mentioned 
here. 

Mr. Fix. I would like to make this distinction about a partnership : 
I think this is correct, that if a half dozen partners own equal shares 
probably the partnership could continue, in the large holding, but it 
would 

Senator Watkins. Just so they did not have more than 160 acres 
for each one of the partners. 

Mr. Fix. That is right, sir. 

Senator Watkins. That is what I wanted to make -clear 

Mr. Straus. Yes. 

Senator Watkins. — because I think there is a misunderstanding 
as to the effect of this. We must keep it clearly in mind that it does 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 107 

not make any difference what terms it is in, the ownership may not be 
more than 160 acres and get the benefits of the act. 

Senator Ecton. This is off the record. 

(There was colloquy off the record.) 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask a few ques- 
tions along this line. 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead, Senator. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Straus, we will later show by witnesses that 
probably the largest irrigated tract in the Madera is about twenty- 
live hundred acres owned by Mr. Arakelian who has a large and costly 
winery ; and following, I think, almost the universal pattern in Cali- 
fornia, the owner has believed that he cannot afford an investment 
of $250,000 or $500,000 in a winery unless he owns at least a minimum 
amount of certain kinds of grapes so he can be assured his winery will 
always have a certain amount of grapes to work on. 

As I understand from prior conversations with you, you will later 
admit that Mr. Arakelian there in the Madera could not be precluded 
from continuing to pump underground water and keep his 2,500 acres 
of vineyard running that way if he wanted to. Is that correct, as far 
as underground water is concerned ? 

Mr. Straus. Existing water ; yes. 

Senator Downey. Well, the intermixed water. There is no way as 
I understand from many conversations with you and with the Secre- 
tary and your attorneys that Mr. Arakelian can be prevented from 
continuing to pump the intermixed water. 

Mr. Straus. Can be prevented by us from pumping it — by the Bu- 
reau of Reclamation. 

Senator Downey. Can be prevented from pumping ; is that going 
to be your claim ? 

Mr. Straus. I say there is no way — you want to say that there is 
no way in which he can be prevented by the Bureau of Reclamation 
from pumping. You do not want to apply it to the district and to the 
State. 

Senator Downey. Oh, yes. You now mean the passage of some 
new kind of law ? 

Mr. Straus. Yes. 

Senator Downey. Well, we will take that up. But let us just as- 
sume. I did not know your attorneys -would express any different 
opinion on that, but just let me make the assumption. 

Mr. Fix. Senator, just so that there will not be any misunder- 
standing about it, I was impressed with what Mr. Harding said in 
his testimony yesterday. If it were possible to distinguish and 
identify the ground water which the Bureau brings in, then tech- 
nically at least you would have probably an injunctive proceeding, 
against the pumper, but as a practical matter I think it would be 
difficult to establish. But we do have the other alternative by which 
we claim that the district can make the pumper, on the basis of as- 
sessments, pay his share. 

Senator Downey. Yes, Mr. Fix; but, while I think there may be 
some doubt in that, if I were a judge I certainly would construe every 
possible provision to compel the excess landowner to pay for the 
underground water that he actually enjoyed. Now, I think then there 
are certain serious legal questions involved in that. I do not know 



108 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

whether it can be worked out, but let us assume it can be; that Mr. 
Arakelian — and I would like to get this situation not in platitudes 
and generalities, but in specific cases. Let us assume Mr. Arakelian 
cannot be prevented from pumping intermixed ground water, but 
that he can be forced to pay for it, if that is the assumption you want 
to make. Mr. Arakelian would then be in a position to utilize the 
ground water. If he wanted to, under the method suggested by the 
distinguished Senator from Utah and the distinguished Senator from 
Montana, he could do any one of ten different things that the lawyers 
are all prepared to do. He could deed out 320-acre parcels to his mar- 
ried relatives and children ; he could deed it out to his employees and, 
if necessary, could form many different corporations, the necessary 
number of corporations, and own all the stock himself; and then, as 
you say, he would be in technical compliance with the law, and then 
he would be entitled to surface water. 

Well, that is true, isn't it? 

Mr. Straus. Yes; if each ownership did not exceed 160 acres per 
individual owner and was, indeed a beneficial ownership. 

Senator Downey. All right. Then what you are attempting to do is 
to place the excess property owner in a position where he has the choice 
of taking only underground water, if that happens to be cheaper : or 
he can take the surface water with it, by this technical compliance that 
you speak of. Isn't that correct? 

Mr. Straus. I think we can get both of them by technical compliance. 

Senator Downey. Well, then what have you gained ? 

Mr. Straus. I think you will get both of them. 

Senator Downey. Then what have you gained ? 

Mr. Straus. I further think that the land pattern will come down to 
accord with the principle of the law and we will have gained a greater 
number of separate beneficial ownerships to which project benefits 
will accrue. 

Senator Downey. Well, do you think, in the case of a man with a 
winery, we will say, worth a half a million dollars that he believes may 
be totally dependent on a certain amount of his crop that he has to 
have, that he is going to cut right down to 160 acres? He can deed 
out to relatives, he can deed out to employees, take a 15-year lease back, 
under our California statutes, and an option at the same time. He 
can keep possession of the land. He can put it, for technical compli- 
ance, in the name of an employee or relative or anybody. He can take 
back a 15-year lease, and he can take back an option, regardless. 

Mr. Straus. I think there are instances in the valley, Senator, some 
of which we have discussed, where they actually have cut down and 
divided, and in some cases separated their winery from their vineyards, 
for various reasons. 

Senator Downey. Surely. 

Mr. Straus. General economic pressures, as differentiated from this 
law. 

Senator Downey. Surely, Mr. Straus. If the wine grower believes 
his business can be better conducted by divesting himself of the very 
precarious business of growing grapes, he can do that; but if he does 
not want to do it he can make technical compliance, and then he has a 
big advantage over your nonexcess landowner because he has the choice 
of making technical compliance and getting the surface water. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 109 

Mr. Straus. He can make technical compliance. 

Senator Downey. Yes. And that technical compliance might vary 
from year to year. So your district would be uncertain from year to 
year as to what type and kind of a lateral surface-distributing system 
you would have. 

I just want to make this comment. I feel that Mr. Straus' figures 
showing compliance with the law are correct if you believe that a tech- 
nical compliance is substantial and moral and ethical. I think it is 
bootlegging. I think it will bring the law in California into further 
disrespect. It is true that a man is not going to lose large advantages 
and values by failing to make a compliance when he can do it, but to 
me that sort of governmental policy is most lamentable, and I think 
that is what has been happening in all reclamation districts. The 
excess parcels are put in the names of relatives, employees, corpora- 
tions; they take back leases; make various kinds of contracts. You 
are able here to approve these figures as being a technical compliance, 
surely ; but there is no real compliance. 

Mr. Straus. Well, Senator, when I get a hundred percent technical 
compliance I am going to come to you to help me get a ruling. 

Senator Downey. You are not going to get me to help you break 
down established institutions. 

Senator Watkins. Mr. Straus, I would like to ask a question or two 
about a matter that you passed over. 

As I understand it from what you have said of some of these supple- 
mental projects — and that is the kind we have in Central Valley — it 
is almost completely that, isn't it? 

Mr. Straus. Yes, sir. It is not completely, but it is largely. About 
one half of the land to be irrigated in the project area now authorized is 
new land which does not have water now. The other lands will receive 
a supplemental supply of water. 

Senator Watkins. Largely that. Well, in those cases where they 
have other water, as I understand, there isn't any difficulty about the 
land limitation. 

Mr. Straus. The other water they have is their own. 

Senator Watkins. That is right. 

Mr. Straus. And we have no control over it. 

Senator Watkins. But still you won't let them take any of this 
project water if they have an ownership of more than 160 acres? 

Mr. Straus. That is correct. 

Voices. No. 

Senator Watkins. In spite of the fact that it is only supplemental ? 

Mr. Straus. Wait. Maybe I gave the wrong answer. Will you ask 
the question again ? That gentleman over there seems to think I gave 
the wrong answer. Will you ask the question again, Senator? 

Senator Watkins. Well, with respect to these lands, that even 
though they do have other water and it is a supplemental project and 
only adding, for instance, maybe an acre-foot per acre, which is only 
a partial water right, you still insist on the limitation, do you not? 

Mr. Straus. The limitation applies to Federal-project water; and 
whether it is 1 percent of the water and they get the other 99 percent 
from prior water rights over which we have no control, does not change 
the application of the limitation to project water. 

62453—47 8 



HO CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Watkins. That is what I thought, wanted to make clear 

Mr. Straus. Yes. . 

Senator Watkins. Because a while ago I got the impression— and 1 
think it is borne out, if you examine the record here, that you gave 
that impression. 

Mr. Straus. Yes. . - 

Senator Watkins. That the supplemental rights really did not 
apply. That was the general effect of it. 

Mr. Straus. No, no. Supplemental. It applies to supplemental 
Federal -project water. 

Senator Watkins. That is right : if they only get a half an acre-toot 
per acre. 

Mr. Straus. If they get a teacupf ul of water. 

Senator Watkins. That is right : they still cannot get that from you 
if they have an ownership of more than 160 acres. 
Mr. Straus. That is correct, within the law. 
Voices. No. 

Mr. Fix. The point that Mr. Straus made was that, if a man has a 
water supply on the project and does not need the project supply, then 
we recognize that right and do not try to enforce the excess-land pro- 
visions if he just has his own water right. 

Senator Watkins. Well, yes; if he has his own water right and 
is not getting any from the project, of course it would not apply. 
Mr. Fix. That is right, sir. 

Senator Watkins. Of course it would not apply. That is obvious. 
It is only when he tries to get some water from you that the law 
would apply. 

Mr. Fix. That is right, sir. 

Senator Downey. Yes, but, Senator Watkins, later pn we would 
like to show the complex and perplexing questions that would arise. 
We put a big dam in the Sacramento River, up at Shasta. There 
were water rights underneath that, some probably as old as a hun- 
dred years, some 50 years, some 25, some 10. Now, nobody, no human 
mind, will ever be able to say when certain categories of priorities 
.are getting project water and when they are getting their own water. 
Water stored by the Bureau may not be used for 5 years. One man 
who has the first rights on the river every year for a century might 
have the water for the full 6 months of irrigation. Another man 
might have it for a lesser period another time; and so it goes into 
a problem that no lawyer, however brilliant he is, even though he 
were a czar, would have the ability to deal with. 

And I should like to say this, Senator Watkins: Mr. Straus also 
said, in an answer to you, that they would not deliver any of the 
project water to the excess-land owner — any of their water. Well, 

now 

Senator Watkins. Isn't that true? There isn't any difference of 
opinion on that, on that water ? 

Senator Downey. Yes, there is, Mr. Watkins, because the under- 
ground water will run from 50 to 90 percent in the different districts. 
In the Madera we are making a specific study of that ; it runs almost 
70 percent, the pumping water. Now, as I understand Mr. Fix he 
has admitted here from a practical standpoint that you cannot pre- 
vent the excess-land owner from pumping intermixed water. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 111 

Senator Ecton. That is right. 

Senator Downey. It cannot be done. Now, you can force him to 
pay for it under some sort of proportionate benefit assessment, but 
you cannot prevent him from pumping under our law. 

Senator Watkins. You are assuming, aren't you, that that is not 
part of the project- water acreage? 

Senator Downey. Well, it is intermixed water, Senator. 

Senator Watkins. Of course, if you assume that it is part 
of it, I understand that you are taking the position that it really can- 
not be identified. Unless they can show it is theirs you claim they 
cannot get it. 

Senator Downey. You mean in the Madera ? 

Senator Watkins. That is right. The burden is on them to show 
it is their water; and if it cannot be shown, it is still their water, 
and there is no definite claim to it. 

Senator Downey. Well, nevertheless, close to 70 percent of this 
water in the Madera and 90 percent in some other districts will come 
from the ground water. That is the reason I say that practically 
there is no way of enforcing any limitation in the Central Valley, 
because you cannot enforce it on this underground water. 

Senator Watkins. I think you mean Bureau water. 

Mr. Straus. Senator Watkins, I think I failed to cover one contin- 
gency in my answer to you, although I think we understood each other : 
A man who owned a thousand acres and has a full water right exist- 
ing — non-Bureau water right, no project water in it; if he got some 
Bureau water, the restriction would apply to Bureau water delivered 
for 160 acres, but it would not cover any of the rest of that thousand 
acres that he had which he was handling with his own water, and that 
would be in no way affected. 

I think I failed to cover that contingency. 

Senator Watkins. Let me ask, as a practical matter: Suppose he. 
has a thousand acres and he has a canal system, and he is taking an 
acre-foot of water for 160 acres, and he turns it in. Now, «»re you 
going to see to it that he only uses that project water on 160 acres that 
he has described ? How are you going to keep it from going all over 
his thousand acres ? 

Mr. Straus. Well, you have a mechanical development. 

Senator Watkins. The owner could use it all over the land. He 
may not sell it, as I understand. 

Mr. Straus. The way it actually works out, we will provide the 
water to the district, and the district would provide the water to the 
individual. 

Senator Ecton. That would take care of itself, would it not, Mr. 
Straus, if you just delivered enough water for 160 acres? If the man 
wanted to run it over another thousand, he would not get that far with 
it. Isn't that right? 

Mr. Straus. Well, I think practically you are right, Mr. Chairman, 
if he spread it that thin, although legalistically 

Senator Ecton. It would not do any good. 

Mr. Straus. Why, it would be a challenge to them. 

Senator Watkins. You would only sell him enough — well, you 
mean sell him a full, water right for the 160 acres. He could take 



112 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

all of his own, his project water, the natural flow, we will say, off from 
the 160 acres, and pay them for 4 acre-feet or whatever it takes. 

Mr. Straus. Oh, yes; he could do that. He would be completely 
within the law : a hundred and sixty. 

Senator Watkixs. And if he does that he can use it anywhere on 
his land. 

Mr. Straus. Well, I hope he does not— not legally. 

Senator Watkixs. As a practical matter he would do it, as I say. 

Senator Ectox. Let me make this observation : If he is a practical 
fanner he will never put water on any acreage unless he is prepared 
to follow it up. If he has been farming some of this dry land,, 
and he irrigates it once, it will never be as good dry land again for 
several years. Any practical irrigation farmer knows that. 

Mr. Straus. That is a matter of irrigation practice depending on 
soils, and I am sure you are right. 

Senator Ectox. That is right. 

Mr. Fix. There is one other point I would like to clear up, Senator,, 
that I do not think was made entirely clear. The statement was made 
that the excess owner, unless he complied, would not get any water. 
He is entitled to water for his first hundred and sixty whether he signs 
a recordable contract or not, but he cannot get the water for that in 
excess of a hundred and sixty unless he complies with the law by sign- 
ing a recordable contract. 

Senator Watkixs. And after he gets it he can use it wherever he 
wants to use it, but he cannot get any more than that. 

Mr. Fix. He gets the water only for the 160, and he is supposed 
under the law to use it on the 160 which he designates as nonexcess. 

Senator Watkixs. Well, as a practical matter the man using an* 
irrigation system just drops it into his general stream, and he uses it 
on his land — couldn't separate that from the rest of his stream and 
turn it out onto his particular 160 acres that you branded as the one 
he had to get water for. 

Mr. Fix. That question came up a number of years ago. Where one 
source is pumping and the other from canals, it is not impossible to 
distinguish where the water is being placed. 

Senator Watkixs. What did they decide about it? 

Mr. Fix. The solicitor held that he could only buy a water right 
for the 160 acres upon which the water w.as to be used — that the 
project water was only supposed to be used on 160 acres. 

Senator Watkixs. As a practical matter you never follow through 
to see that he uses it on the 160, do you ? 

Mr. Fix. I think that is true. 

Senator Watkixs. In our project I think that is absolutely true: 
Nobody follows it through to see where it goes. They sell up to that 
amount, and from there on it is the man's water, and he uses it wherever 
he pleases. In fact he rents it to somebody else. That has been done 
all the time and is being done now. They rent it to others, and they 
use it on land that has four or five hundred acres. 

Mr. Straus. May I continue with a little of this background? I 
should like to go on in an accelerated fashion. I think we ought to 
look at the historical and economic and other background by which 
we got to where we are today. I do not want to be partisan about this 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 113 

in any way. I should like to point out that both the Kepublican and 
the Democratic parties have frequently written into their platform 
declarations endorsements of the small independent farmer and the 
"home ownership of family-size farms." 

There was recently on January 8, 1917, a nonpartisan pronounce- 
ment supporting the family-size farm which came from a distinguished 
i'oint committee of the Senate of the United States and the House of 
Representatives, and that committee was headed by the Honorable 
Robert Taft of Ohio, chairman, and the Honorable Jesse P. Wolcott 
of Michigan as vice chairman ; and this committee in its report, which 
was comments on "the economic report of the President," published 
as a House document, said : 

The committee notes with approval that the report places special emphasis 
upon an over-all policy directed toward the preservation in agriculture of the 
family-sized farm. • 

The language of the report continues : 

The long-range agricultural policy of the Government should be aimed at 
preserving the family-sized farm and preventing another agricultural depression 
as we go through the readjustments following the Second World War. 

Signers of that are interesting. They are Senators Ball, Flanders, 
and — I want to point out — Senators Watkins. O'Mahoney, Myers, 
Sparkman, and Congressmen Bender, Judd, Rich, Hart, Patman, and 
Huber. 

Well, I have here a large number of citations. They are no less 
emphatic in support of the family-sized owner-operated farm prin- 
ciple by political leaders, given the support by religious groups, and 
again on a basis of absolutely no partisanship, for it seems to be an 
issue that knows no creed. 

In 1938 the National Catholic Social Action Conference declared: 

A healthy agricultural system will encourage the family farm rather than the 
commercial farm. 

A year later the National Catholic Rural Life Conference held that the 

multiplying of family-size owner-operated farms is an important safeguard 
against the exploitation of our greatest natural resource, namely, the 
land * * * 

Pope Leo XIII, in the prophetic encyclical letter Rerum Novarum 
of 1891, popularly called the Condition of Labor, wrote : 

Men not only should possess the fruits of the earth, but also the very 
soil * * * The law should favor ownership, and its policy should be to in- 
duce as many people as possible to become owners. 

Many Protestant organizations likewise have issued pronounce- 
ments on the family-size farm and diffused ownership of land. The 
National Council of Congregational Churches, in 1925, declared : 

That the farmer shall have access to the land he works, on such terms as will 
ensure him personal freedom and economic encouragement, while society is amply 
protected by efficient production and conservation of fertility. 

The same statement was made in 1926 by the general synod of the 
Reformed Church in the United States ; and the general conference of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1928 asserted that — 

the tiller of the soil shall be encouraged in his efforts to own the land he 
farms * * * 



114 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

The general assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United 
States in 1937 declared : 

We cannot tolerate in America any form of peasantry or any system of farm 
tenancy that reduces the tenant to a state of intolerable poverty and toil * * * 

The National Study Conference on the Churches and a Just and 
Durable Peace in 1942 reported that : 

Agriculture has a dual importance both as a way of making a living and as a 
basis of family and community life. Our economic system must become servant 
and not master in maintaining the socially significant services of agriculture. 

The Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America in 1932 
declared : 

The rural home and the farm linked with it have never been generally re- 
garded merely as a means of speculative profit. They should not become so. 
Land is a very special kind of property even though it may become bought and 
sold. 

Fifty leading laymen and clergymen of the Catholic, Jewish, and 
Protestant faiths recently issued an incisive statement entitled "Man's 
Relation to the Land" on the use and development of our land and 
the importance of making it available to the largest feasible number 
of farmers rather than to only a few large owners. I quote a few 
paragraphs from this statement : 

Make the family-type farm operated by the owner a major objective of legis- 
lation and planning. 

Discourage large land holdings as undemocratic and unsocial. 

Make land settlement possible for returned soldiers and displaced war work- 
ers through proper financial and educational planning, provided qualified people 
so desire and sound arrangements can be made. 

The Council for Social Action of the Congregational Christian 
Churches in March 1945 declared : 

Appropriations should be authorized and expended only when the interests 
of national conservation or of family-type ownership are promoted and protected. 

On all lands which depend upon federally financed irrigation or flood-control 
projects, irrigation water in the future should be made available to landowners 
only for an acreage sufficient for a family-type and not for acreage in excess of 
that area. 

All practicable Federal assistance should be given to continued and increased 
operator-ownership of family-type farms, through proper financial and informa- 
tional help and guidance. 

The United States Department of Agriculture, speaking through 
Dr. Howard R. Tolley, former Chief of the Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics, declared before the Senate Commerce Committee in 1944: 

In a full life on the farm, the kind of schools, churches, clubs, and recrea- 
tion available to the farm family is extremely important. This is true not only 
for the farmer and his wife but particularly for their children. One attrac- 
tion of fanning for many parents is the opportunity to raise their children under 
more desirable surroundings. Unfortunately, many rural areas todav do not 
oiler such an opportunity. 

We in the Department [of Agriculture] are heartily in favor of the program 
which the Bureau of Reclamation has developed. 

The National Grange, another type of organization, in its annual 
convention m Portland in November 11)4(5. only 5 months ago, declared 
it opposed repeal of the acreage limitation in the reclamation law." 
Ihis same national convention of grange reiterated a most significant 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 115 

policy in the language of the following resolution, of which I shall 
quote only a few lines : 

Whereas, there is a trend toward the replacement of the family type farms by 
large corporate operated farms ; Therefore, be it 

Resolved, That the National Grange endeavor to counteract this trend by en- 
couraging in the subordinate granges a discussion of the importance of family 
type farms and of the conditions necessary to their continued existence. 

Well, then we might find in last year — no; in 1945, the National 
Farmers Union made a declaration that : 

It is time to act to check and reverse the dispossession of American farm- 
families from the land * * * there must be adopted a sound land policy 
which fortifies the security of farm families on the land. Family-type farming 
can best conserve and enrich the irreplaceable natural resources and develop 
and enrich the human resources of people made free and happy * * * Ad- 
justment of farm lands into sound economic family-type units is part of basic 
policy * * * We oppose alteration of the 160-acre limitation on individual 
lands served by Government irrigation development as proposed in the so-called 
Elliott amendment to the rivers and harbors bill. Our Government must not sub- 
sidize large commercial farming. 

Now, what has seemed to me perhaps the most significant recent 
action on the part of the United States Government has been the ex- 
tension through our victorious military commanders overseas of the 
requirement that new governments that we seem to be engaged in 
setting up shall provide for a division of agricultural lands. In 
Germany, General Eisenhower and his successor, General McNarney, 
took action to that end. And on December 9, 1945, General Mac- 
Arthur issued a memorandum to the Imperial Japanese Republic on 
the subject of rural land reform in which he required the division 
of lands to the farmers and an end to corporate agriculture. I might 
add that Japan has quite an extensive reclamation program. 

So it seems to me that this is an American-made policy, a policy 
made in America, and I do not think that we should label it "For 
export only." Also, Congress has never ordered the Bureau of Recla- 
mation to discriminate and apply any double standard of morals to 
the lands to which this basic policy extends. The record shows that the 
average limitation provisions of the reclamation law were intended to 
apply to both public and privately owned land that is or was to be 
benefited by reclamation through interest-free funds from the Federal 
Treasury. 

Now, take a look, as the lawyers say, at the legislative background 
whereby we got, or there was given us by the Congress, this law. The 
principle that private landownership should comply with acreage lim- 
itations — private landowners as differentiated from public lands : the 
claim that private landowners should comply with acreage limita- 
tion — was enunciated by, I believe, as I recall it, the Republican leader 
of the House, Representative Mondell, of Wyoming; and when this 
law was presented to the House and debated on the House floor, and 
the legislative history became part of the binding interpretation of 
the law, Representative Mondell declared on the House floor, and I 
quote him : 

Under nearly every project undertaken by the Government there will un- 
doubtedly be some lands in private ownership ; and it would be manifestly unjust 
and inequitable not to provide water for these lands, provided their owners are 
willing to comply with the conditions of the act; and in order that no such 
lands may be held in large quantities or by nonresident owners, it is provided 



116 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

that no water right for more than 160 acres shall he sold to any landowner, who 
must also be a resident or occupant of his land. This provision was drawn with 
a view to breaking up any large land holdings which might exist in the vicinity 
of Government works and to insure occupancy by the owner of the land reclaimed. 

Now, that is the view of one of the men that put this original law 
through. 

Subsequently, in 1911, the late Senator Warren, of Wyoming, an- 
other conservative westerner, wrote the acreage limitation into an 
amendment to the reclamation law to which he signed his own name, 
and which is now generally known as the Warren Act, under which the 
benefits of reclamation were extended to land inadequately irrigated 
and which required supplemental water. 

Now we are getting into the supplemental-water theory. We have 
private lands receiving supplemental water under the Warren Act on 
almost every Bureau Project. I refer you to table 7 of the Landowner- 
ship Survey on Federal reclamation projects. 

Senator Watkins. I would like to ask you, Commissioner 

Mr. Straus. Yes. 

Senator Watkins. I note that men here, Senator Downey and others 
who are asking for the exception in these cases, seem to agree with you, 
as I do, on a general proposition that the 160-acre limitation is all 
right, but you do have exceptions. One of your most notable excep- 
tions is the Big Thompson project in Colorado, isn't it? 

Mr. Straus. Yes. 

Senator Watkins. The general idea or the thing back of the recla- 
mation law was to reclaim arid lands. That is what it means : reclaim 
arid lands. 

Mr. Straus. Yes, but from the beginning in 1902, over half the 
land we have reclaimed has been land in private hands, much of it 
needing supplemental water. 

Senator Watkins. And to take lands that were not then in private 
ownership and to make it possible for people to homestead on them 
and settle them, because they supplied the necessary elements to keep 
them going, which is water. Now, you seem to have made a departure 
when you come into the project, the Big Thompson, and you have 
a conservancy district there, and that is made up of cities and towns 
and counties, irrigation districts, irrigation companies, and what have 
you, that operate the various facilities. 

Mr. Straus. That is right. 

Senator Watkins. In that project do you not have to supply a large 
amount of this water to cities and towns ? 

Mr. Straus. Yes. Well, yes; contracts with the Northern Colorado 
Conservancy District, and it certainly is overwhelmingly irrigation 
water, but I believe that it will be found that the district is supplying 
water, although there is no water in the project yet. It has not. gone 
through. At dam site only. I presume that there will be some water 
supplied for others after 

Senator Watkins. Will you supply cities and towns for domestic 
use, when part of that domestic use is the irrigation of their lawns and 
gardens and the back lots, isn't it? 

Mr. Straus. Yes. 

Senator Watkins. And you have many thousands of users in some 
of those cities and towns that will be irrigated out of one of these 
projects? 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 117 

Mr. Straus. You will get to a vanishing point as between 

Senator Watkins. That is what I mean. 

Mr. Straus. Watering the lawn and washing the dishes and taking 
a bath. Very marked up around Ogden. 

Senator Watkins. What is the basic reason why you made an excep- 
tion in the Colorado case and why you oppose an exception in this 
case ? I am asking for information, not arguing. 

Mr. Straus. I did not make the exception. Congress made it the 
exception. 

Senator Watkins. Did you oppose that ? 

Mr. Straus. I was not reporting on the bill at that time. 

Senator Watkins. Did the Bureau oppose it? 

Mr. Straus. I do not think that the Bureau opposed it or made a 
negative report. I think that the report pointed out that, No. 1, excess 
ownerships were very minor there and that these were held by loan 
companies and Federal credit agencies for failure to make payments 
and would be liquidated in small holdings ; No. 2, that — and this raises 
the point that you raised — that this was not to be considered a policy- 
forming move, although of course it has been so interpreted. 

Senator Watkins. It is an exception, not the general 

Mr. Straus. And No. 3, and this a physical differentiation: those 
are high lands, comparatively high lands — I don't know what the 
altitude is, but I imagine it is 5,000 or better around Loveland — with 
a comparatively short growing period. You might be able to drum 
up some justification for larger holdings on a shorter growing period. 
I'd like to point out that the San Joaquin Valley and the Valley 
Gravity area around Brownsville, Tex., enjoy the best growing season,, 
the longest crop-raising season, and therefore certainly do not require, 
to support an individual farmer on a high American standard, as much 
land as these high-altitude projects. 

Senator Watkins. I can see that you have some reasons which you 
think apply to the California and Texas projects which would not 
apply to the Colorado project. 

Mr. Straus. That is right. 

Senator Watkins. I understand that this project is in a very high 
altitude. 

Mr. Straus. It is even higher than the Colorado-Big Thompson. 

Senator Watkins. Are you in favor of the exception in the Colo- 
radio project? 

Mr. Straus. Not on the basis that is proposed here, of a straight 
ripper that throws out the principle and throws out the antispecula- 
tion features along with it ; I am not in favor of that, sir. 

Senator Watkins. What do you mean, "the antispeculation fea- 
tures"? 

Mr. Straus. Well, this bill — it has hardly been discussed at all, but 
I will touch it lightly shortly : that in addition to doing away with 
acreage restriction the bill tosses lightly out the window certain anti- 
speculation features which have been written in by the Congress as 
the result of the sad experience we have had with the highly specu- 
lative booms that have been loosed in some places where water was 
brought to the land. I refer to the antispeculation features of present 
law having to do with recordable contracts, appraisals, and methods 
of resale. 



118 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Watkins. The projects, we note, all three of them, are 
supplemental water projects. 

Mr. Straus. Yes, sir. 

Senator Watkins. And a supplemental-water right does not ordi- 
narily bring on a boom, does it? 

Mr. Straus. Well, I do not know whether the boom got there first 
or the supplemental water got there first, in either of these projects, 
but conditions are pretty brisk in the San Joaquin and also around 
Brownsville at the present time. 

Senator Watkins. But they are everywhere where they have any 
agricultural area worth mentioning, at the present time, aren't they? 

Mr. Straus. I do think that values in the San Joaquin and the Valley 
Gravity project in Texas do reflect the expectation — the justified expec- 
tation — of Central Valley project water and gravity water from the 
JRio Grande in Texas. 

Senator Downey. I would like to ask the Commissioner on what 
knowledge or data he bases that statement. 

Are you attempting to say there has been t a greater increment in 
value in the San Joaquin than in the rest of California ? Is that what 
you are attempting to tell this committee? 

Mr. Straus. No ; I didn't say that. 

Senator Downey. If so 

Mr. Straus. I didn't say that. 

Senator Downey. No ? 

Mr. Straus. I didn't say that, and I said that I believe, and properly 
so, that the values at which agricultural acreage in the expected service 
area is held are affected by water prospects, and water prospects are 
principally controlled by the time that Central Valley project water 
gets to the service area. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Ecton. Senator Downey. 

Senator Downey. I should like to put into the record a letter writ- 
ten by Mr. Straus on March 28, 1946, to all his regional and branch 
directors, in which he is explaining the reason for the particular type 
of contract offered to the Central Valley — 

The Central Valley of California involves a number of conditions and circum- 
stances that do not prevail generally, i. e., existing water rights, intensive culti- 
vation, and stability of land value, which afford a sound basis for adoption 

and so forth. 

Now. when you wrote that letter, Mr. Straus, didn't you think that 
land values were pretty well stabilized in the Central Valley? 

Mr. Straus. I certainly used the phrase "stability of land values" 
there. 

Senator Downey. And isn't that what everybody who is familiar 
with conditions in the Central Valley believes, that our values are 
stabilized there? 

Mr. Straus. I think they are always going to remain high, but 
how high I am not an authority on. If I were I probably would not 
be a Commissioner of Keclamation; I would be in a happier life. 
[Laughter.] 

Senator Ecton. Mr. Straus, could you agree that this 160-acre 
limitation can be placed in the category of a theory of general public 



CERTAIX EXEMPTIONS FROM LAXD LIMITATIONS 119 

policy rather than as an unbreakable commandment as far as the public 
land is concerned ? 

Would you agree that oftentimes there must be exceptions to rules 
as laid down, in order to make the over-all policy work satisfactorily 
to all concerned ? 

Mr. Straus. Well, I think that that is a comfortable piece of 
philosophy, Mr. Chairman, but the Congress has not, nor do I expect 
it to, granted the Secretary of the Interior or myself the opportunity 
of selection of what laws we shall follow and what laws we shall not. 
They did not grant any exceptions ; they said, "This is it." 

Senator Ecton. I think you feel that most of the members 
of the committee are just about in the same position as you are. This 
policy was determined way back there in 1902. I was not very old 
at that time, and these exceptions had been made before most of us 
came on the scene. Somebody recognized that there was need to make 
exceptions to this rule, and under this bill we are trying to decide if 
there is sufficient evidence to make another exception. 

Mr. Straus. Three more. 

Senator Ecton. You are projecting the implications on into the 
future. 

Mr. Straus. Yes. This bill itself contains three. 

Senator Ecton. Your argument is that the bill itself is a wedge 
in a door to eventually throw it all overboard, and personally I am 
not very much exercised about that because I recognize the social 
implications in the whole matter, as you read from these various 
letters from these organizations. Now, those organizations are inter- 
ested in this bill particularly, it is plain to see, from a social angle. 

Mr. Straus. Yes. There are great implications for the future of 
reclamation and America there. 

Senator Ecton. I believe the general public is generally in agree- 
ment. But I do not think we can safely conclude that those various 
organizations are interested in this particular bill because they are 
fully informed and know all the facts and the details as pertains to this 
particular project. 

Mr. Straus. I think you are right. Though many of them are 
here today waiting to testify against this bill. It is a question of 
principle that we have before us. When we start taking them three 
at a time for exemptions, projects of the size of these three, I do not 
think there will be much left in the end. 

Senator Ecton. I can see your concern over it, because as I under- 
stand it there are two projects here that we are actually projecting into 
the future. 

Mr. Straus. That is right. 

Senator Ecton. On two other projects. 

Mr. Straus. That is right. 

Senator Ecton. I can see why you would have a concern in that 
respect. 

Mr. Straus. I will continue here. 

Senator Watkins. Let me ask a question on the matter of policy. 

Mr. Straus. Yes, sir. 

Senator Watkins. As I understand it from what you have said, 
all you could do is follow the policies Congress lays down. Now, you 
understand this is not an effort to violate the law ; it is an effort of Con- 



120 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

gress to change the policy, and I understand you are opposing Con- 
gress making a change in this policy. 

Senator Ecton. Just a minute, Senator. This bill is not trying to 
change the policy. 

Senator Watkins. It is to make an exception to the policy. 

Senator Ecton. It is just to make an exception to the rule. 

Senator Watkins. And the Department is opposed to Congress 
doing that thing ; isn't that true % 

Mr. Straus. That is right, sir. 

Senator Watkins. Isn t that true ? 

Mr. Straus. Yes, we are opposing this bill, and we think that the 
inevitable result of this bill is a general change of the policy. We do 
not believe that the Congress will, nor do we think it should discrimi- 
nate and say all projects that begin with "C" will not have to mind 
this, and some others will. Congress has never done that. 

Senator Downey. Oh, Mr. Straus, no one would consider, should 
they, that if we passed this bill applying to supplemental projects, to 
private lands that if the Government undertook a project of subdivid- 
ing public lands, nobody would claim this as a new principle ? If it 
were a wholly new project, not supplemental, nobody would claim 
this was. 

Is it your idea that Congress does not have the discretion to dis- 
criminate between different types of projects? 

Mr. Straus. Well, Senator, you are very familiar with the proposal 
that is going to come up in one of your neighboring States before the 
Congress almost immediately, where a large project, as large as this, 
that has underground water, will be supplemented, known as the Cen- 
tral Arizona Project. 

Senator Downey. Well, if it is similar to this project, of course this 
would be a precedent. Why, of course it would be. 

Mr. Straus. Well 

Senator Downey. And if it is similar to this project, of course it 
ought to be exempted. There is no doubt of that. 

Mr. Straus. Well, there we go. 

Senator Watkins. Do you agree to that idea ? 

Senator Ecton. You understand that is Senator Downey's conclu- 
sion, Mr. Straus. 

Mr. Straus. Yes. 

Senator Downey. Well, I certainly would sav that if the Central 
Arizona is similar to the Central Valley, and Congress exempts the 
Central Valley, they ought to exempt the" Central Arizona, if it has the 
same factors and conditions that operate there. We are not making 
any particular plea for the Central Valley because the initial of Central 
Valley is "C." 

Senator Watkins, I wanted to ask again— did the Department 
oppose the exception made in the Colorado-Big Thompson? 

Mr. Straus. No, sir. I have not read the report, which was 10 
years ago, for quite a few years ; but I do not believe that we did oppose 
it . I think we gave it a limited lack of objection, as I 

Senator Watkins. Didn't you give it a blessing? 

Mi-. Sir us. No; I think we gave it a left-handed lack of objection, 
and it went through. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 121 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, I should like now to read out of 
the pamphlet of the Bureau of Reclamation, "Landownership Survey," 
on page 52, what this limited blessing consisted of. 

Mr. Straus. All right. You read it more recently than I have. 

Senator Downey. I am about to read it, referring to the Colorado- 
Big Thompson project : 

IX. EXEMPTION BY CONGRESS 

Legislation has been enacted by Congress exempting three projects from the 
excess acreage limitations where peculiar circumstances were involved which 
made application of the provisions economically unsound. In 1938, the excess- 
land provisions were made inapplicable to lands "which now have an irrigation 
water supply from sources other than a Federal reclamation project and which 
will receive a supplemental supply from the Colorado-Big Thompson project" (52 
Stat. 764). The Acting Secretary of the Interior recommended the exemption to 
the chairman of the House Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation. Said Acting 
Secretary Burlew (letter dated June 6, 1938, House Report No. 2620, 75th Cong., 
Sdsess.) : 

«* * * The Colorado-Big Thompson project will furnish a supplemental 
water supply to approximately 615,000 acres of land on the eastern slope of 
Colorado. This land has been settled tor more than 50 years and is already being 
irrigated and is at present divided into more than 6,400 separate farm units, the 
average individual landownership being 96 acres. Although there are, of course, 
some farms in the area of acreages exceeding 160 acres, they are relatively few 
in number. Many of these large farms are held by loan companies and Federal 
credit agencies which in time will probably liquidate their holdings in small 
parcels, as more intensive cultivation in the area develops with the increased 
water supply furnished by the Colorado-Big Thompson project. The same tend- 
ency toward the subdivision will probably occur with respect to these larger 
farms held by individuals. 

"On those lands in this project which are already settled and irrigated there is, 
therefore, no practical need for establishing the size of farm units and protecting 
settlers against the danger of land speculation. The proposed legislative exemp- 
tion will save the Government, the conservancy district, and the supplemental 
water users considerable legal and administrative expense * * *." 

And I ask, Mr. Chairman, that the entire quotation from page 52 
from "IX. Exemption by Congress" down to the last two lines on 
page 52 be printed in the record. 

Senator Ecton. Accepted. It will be printed. 

Mr. Straus. Shall I continue ? I should like to. 

Senator Ecton. Your half an hour has been over quite a while 
ago, Mr. Straus, but we are enjoying this, so you may continue. 
[Laughter.] 

Mr. Straus. Private landowners have complied with the acreage 
limitations. I again point to the record. More than 80 percent of 
the land now receiving reclamation irrigation was in private owner- 
ship when Federal service was first given. Cannot California do as 
well? The remainder of the acreage, or less than 20 percent, was 
Government land and farm units were laid out by the Bureau on the 
basis of acreage adequate to support a family. 

The Landownership Survey shows, table I, page 15, that 4.1 percent 
of the land receiving a full supply of water from reclamation systems 
is in excess ownership. And please note what this table shows with 
respect to the 1,630,870 acres of land receiving supplemental water — 
land in the same category as that in the Central Valley, San Luis Val- 
ley, and the Valley Gravity and Storage Projects. Less than 3 per- 
cent or 2.9 percent, of the acreage on these projects receiving supple- 
mental water is now in excess holdings. 



122 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

More than 97 percent of the owners of land receiving supplemental 
water through interest-free Federal investments are complying with 
acreage limitation. Their record is even better than that of the water 
users dependent on reclamation for full water supplies. 

Mr. Chairman, I have confidence in the integrity and cooperative- 
ness of the prospective beneficiaries of reclamation in the Central 
Valley, San Luis Valley, and Valley Gravity areas. I am confident 
they will seek to comply with the law when reclamation service is 
available. If the big corporations and other land monopolists in 
these areas are unwilling to reduce their holdings and comply with 
the basic principles of the reclamation law, they should not be seeking 
interest-free Federal funds at the expense of the country as a whole 
for private benefit and personal profit. 

Since S. 912 proposes to repeal the antispeculation protection of the 
reclamation law, I am asking Assistant Commissioner Warne to deal 
more fully with this phase of the nullification proposal. I state un- 
equivocally, Mr. Chairman, that whatever might be left of reclamation 
principles would be washed up completely by throwing reclamation 
developments open to unbridled speculation. 

I shall not now attempt to comment on or controvert all the intricate 
and technical or legalistic arguments that have been offered this com- 
mittee, nor will I even exhaust you by correcting any misstatements. 
But there is one rationalization that" I simply cannot let pass 
unchallenged. 

Now, an assertion has been made in various places, made here yes- 
terday, which merits examination, that unless this proposal, this bill, 
is adopted, small family-sized farm owners in any area, or in this 
area will be sacrificed for the benefit of corporate agricultural enter- 
prise or large enterprise. Now, that is somewhat of a challenge to the 
Senators and officials who really originally wrote this bill, and to 
those who have supported it ever since, and I have difficulty reconciling 
such an assertion with perception and logic. 

Now, acceptance of such a conclusion that unless we adopted this 
bill, why, the big boys would benefit without paying, from the little 
boys — acceptance of that conclusion would require that we make a 
decision that the human race has so changed its character that the 
large landowners are supporting this proposal now before you* so 
that they would be prevented from being the unwilling recipients 
of benefits for which they would not pay. I do not want to be cynical, 
but it seems to me that that reasoning does violence to common sense. 
I can't quite go for it. I simply think that these large and corporate 
landowners in the Central Valley want interest-free water, and the 
present law blocks them, just as it was designed by the Congress to do, 
so that they are out to kill the law. 

Senator Ecton. Let me ask you : If you delivered the water to them 
they would have to pay, wouldn't they ? 

Mr. Straus. Yes. 

Senator Ecton. They would pay. 

Mr. Straus. They can be made to pay. The irrigation district 
would make them pay. I assume it would make them pay. 

The large holders, the excess holders, you are talking about? 

Senator Ecton. Yes. 

Mr. Straus. Yes. 






CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 123 

Senator Ecton. So the amount that they receive from the so-called 
little fellow would be over and above the amount that the project paid- 
back to the Federal Government? That is, this project is based on a 
Federal appropriation which every taxpayer in the United States 
shares in. That is what you have reference to, isn't it,, Mr. Straus ? 

Mr. Straus. Well, no. Maybe that 

Senator Ecton. You do not mean that you would deliver water 
to them free just because they happened to be big landowners? 

Mr. Straus. They have drummed up a theory that, because they 
are excess landowners not entitled to project water, they would get 
it by natural processes through the underground free and that they 
would not have to pay for it ; they get what they call in California a 
free ride. 

Senator Ecton. Senator, is that what you are after? 

Senator Downey. Well, Senator, I no longer resent any of the 
propaganda or insinuations that are made by the Bureau at me and 
Senator Knowland and all of the Congressmen from this district r 
and practically every public official. We are used to this sort of thing, 
and it is very much easier for the Commissioner to say something of 
that kind than to come down and tell us how this thing can be made 
to work. It is very easy to indulge in invective and abuse, and the 
papers and the press of California have been flooded with statements 
from the Bureau of Reclamation officials of that kind. 

Mr. Straus. I do not want to be in that category, Mr. Chairman* 
and rather than develop that point any further I think the theory will 
become apparent, for whatever judgment the committee wants to make 
of it, on the presentation of the letters that were exchanged between 
Harry Barnes and myself that I understand will be entered shortly* 
and if you would excuse me from making any comment that might be 
considered out of order, I should like to be excused from it, and let 
that develop from those letters. 

Senator Ecton. Very well. 

Senator Watkins. Well, since this question came up, Commissioner, 
I should like to know if the Bureau has directly or indirectly been doing 
any propaganda work against this proposed bill. 

Mr. Straus. No, sir. We have been seeking to sign contracts with 
more than a dozen — oh, well more than a dozen, and secured some con- 
tracts with irrigation districts in California, and we pointed out to 
them that — and of course this bill enters directly into those negotia- 
tions, and we have pointed out that the present contracts that we are 
offering are under the present law, and that we are supporting the 
present law, and that is what we must do, and that we are not sup- 
porting this bill, but we cannot offer them contracts under this bill ; 
and of course the existence of this bill and the debate that this bill 
generates has a direct effect on our ability to secure contracts under the 
present law. Quite obviously a lot of people would prefer to have 
these contracts be void of any acreage restrictions! 

Senator Watkins. I wonder if you consider it a part of your duty 
as Commissioner to defend before the public the present law, or merely 
your duty to go ahead and carry it out. 

Mr. Straus. Well, I have construed my oath of office to uphold the 
present law, and I am defending it here today, and it is a part of my 
duty, I think. 



124 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Watkins. I understand. I am just wondering how far you 
construed that to go ; to the point where you would have to keep on 
defending a particular policy or object to a change in the policy should 
the Congress want to make that change ? 

Mr. Straus. Well, when the Congress changes the law, then I am 
required to support the law as changed, and no other law. 

Senator Watkins. But you are now here objecting to Congress mak- 
ing a change in the law, aren't you ? 

Mr. Straus. I am supporting the law as now written. 

Senator Watkins. And objecting to Congress making any change? 

Mr. Straus. Yes, sir ; that is correct. 

Senator Watkins. I just wondered if you considered that a part 
of your duty, to object to the Congress making any change in the law. 

Mr. Straus. Yes. I was invited to report and recommend on this 
proposed bill, and I am so doing. 

Senator Watkins. Well, I just merely wanted to get your point of 
view on that. 

Mr. Straus. Yes, sir. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, as long as this question has arisen, 
I should like the opportunity of a personal statement that will not be 
over 2 or 3 minutes. 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead Senator. 

Senator Downey. In my opinion, from personal observation and 
knowledge and reports to me from people that 1 have confidence in, 
I believe that a large part of the time of several hundred men in the 
Bureau of Reclamation in the last 2 or 3 years has been utilized in 
what I would term propaganda and lobbying out in California, build- 
ing up — and, I think, upon serious misrepresentation — a feeling 
against the persons who were proposing this repeal. 

I know of one instance in which a man who is now dead, but was 
one of the important officials out there, actually wrote out the most 
abusive editorial that was ever written about me — and I have had 
several — and it was printed in one of the leading papers there, solely 
upon his statement. 

More recently the Bureau of Reclamation transmitted certain in- 
formation out to California that was transmitted to the press, that 
was so absurd and so corrupt in its attitude toward me that I could 
not have been condemned enough if it had been true. The papers 
carried this statement that I was plotting and planning on having a 
secret hearing here in whieh nobody would be allowed — no public 
people would be allowed to attend, and I was roundly abused for 
that — something that is so absurd and silly, and wholly without any 
foundation. And yet, by typical Bureau promotions that accusation 
became the subject matter of an editorial in a San Francisco news- 
paper. And this propaganda, which I assign as being ignorant and 
misrepresentation, has come in a constant flood from the Bureau of 
Reclamation people, I think both in Washington and out in California. 

I had not intended to make that statement, because I am not thin- 
skinned. I am used to being abused. Any man in public life is. I 
am not thin-skinned about it, but, since the Commissioner himself 
began to indulge in those things, I am making this personal statement. 
So far as I know, not one single important irrigation lawyer, not one 
single important irrigation engineer, not one single important State 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 125 

official, believes the Bureau is right in this matter. Consistently the 
[Representatives in Congress from the great agricultural districts have 
believed the bill totally unworkable and should be repealed — Repub- 
licans and Democrats alike : Senator Knowland and I ; Mr. Gearhart, 
Mr. Elliott, and Mr. Leroy Johnson over in the House, who come 
from these great districts. 

. Now, there are other gentlemen from the great cities who have a 
different viewpoint. 

Mr. George P. Miller. Senator, you left me out. My district is 
just as agricultural as theirs, with the Contra Costa County Canal in 
it, and I wish that you would just please incorporate that in the 
record. 

Senator Downey. All right. Mr. George Miller, who is standing 
here, who is from the area around Richmond and Oakland, is sup- 
porting the Bureau of Reclamation. Incidentally, his district has 
22,000 acres of land under the project with 2.56 of excess lands. But 
I stand corrected if I made any misstatement. 

And I have felt consistently that the Bureau of Reclamation was 
entirely out of line in going out on this intensive lobbying and propa- 
ganda effort. Probably they are sincere, probably they are crusaders, 
devoutly believe they are really doing right, but I think it has been 
most unwholesome and most unfortunate for the whole Central 
Valley. 

Senator Ecton. Thank you. 

Mr. Straus. It happens, Mr. Chairman, that the very next passage 
that comes in here was put in here in an effort to take any personalities 
out of my testimony. May I read it ? 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead, Mr. Straus. 

Mr. Straus. I do not want to take your time by summarizing all I 
have said, but I do want to point out to you that this is not an individual 
or personal view of mine, but an adherence to the small-farm principle 
inevitably becomes the conviction of any official who by office must deal 
with this problem in western reclamation. 

Many years ago when the United States first assumed its responsibil- 
ity in developing western arid lands, a f oresighted man, Mr. Frederick 
H. Newell, who was a distinguished engineer, became the first United 
States Commissioner of Reclamation. Even then the problem was 
before it" as to whether the Federal. reclamation program was to in- 
crease the wealth of individuals by exercising the speculative possibili- 
ties of Federal reclamation aid or whether his job was to get people 
settled in security and a firm economy on irrigated lands. He met it 
head-on when he testified before Congress that long ago, and I think 
before this committee too. He said, and I quote him, Mr. Newell, 41 
years ago : 

The object of the Reclamation Act is not so much to irrigate the land as it is 
to make homes. President Theodore Roosevelt in his message to this Congress 
today, and in every previous message to this Congress and to the Congress of the 
United States, has emphasized again and again that the primary objective of 
the law was to make homes. It is not to irrigate the lands which now belong to 
large corporations 

This is Mr. Newell speaking, not myself. 

to large corporations or to small ones ; it is not to make these men wealthy ; but 
it is to bring about a condition whereby that land should be put into the hands 

62453 — 47 9 



126 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

of the smaller owner, whereby the man with a family can get enough laud to 
support that family, to become a good citizen, and ot have all the comforts and 
necessities which rightly belong to an American citizen. 

My immediate predecessor, 41 years after Mr. Newell, was Mr. Harry 
Ba si lore, a man whom many of you know personally, a man who has 
tramped the valleys and the deserts of the West for over 40 years, a 
man of sound philosophy, and a man who did. much for reclamation 
and who did and does command my entire respect and, I believe, the 
entire respect of the Senate. A few years ago he insisted on laying 
down his burdens and claiming a well-earned retirement, and he came 
in and gave me some sage advice, on the last day before he quit Wash- 
ington — quit Washington to go and live on an irrigated farm. He 
said to me, "Mike Straus, no matter what the future brings to reclama- 
tion, stand firm on the family-sized reclamation farm. Follow the 
wisdom of the reclamation law, and don't start turning over reclama- 
tion to corporate farming." 

As your first Reclamation Commissioner laid it down and as your 
last Reclamation Commissioner made it his parting injunction, your 
present Reclamation Commissioner gives the same recommendation. 
I sincerely recomend to this committee that it reject this proposed leg- 
islation and hold the reclamation program of the United States to the 
sound and tested principles by which it has flourished and attained its 
present stature. 

That, Mr. Chairman, is all the testimony I have to volunteer at this 
time. At such time during the week as the committee sees fit, I wish 
to request that it hear a few other members of the Bureau : Mr. Warne 
on speculation, Mr. Boke, and Mr. Kerr, Mr. Stoner, and Mr. Gardner 
who know far more about this project than I do. 

I do not speak, nor am I authorized to speak, for a large group of 
Calif ornians that are in here who will express their own views. 
^ I am requested by the Secretary of the Interior to ask permission for 
Secretary Krug to testify and give his views before this committee 
sometime at or near the conclusion of your hearings. 

Senator Ecton. We shall be glad to hear Secretary Krug at the 
time that the opposition testifies, Mr. Straus. We shall proceed with 
the proponents of the bill for the next day or so, I presume. 

Mr. Straus. Yes, sir. 

Senator Ecton. Senator Watkins has a few questions. 

Senator Watkins. Probably you may have mentioned this before I 
came in, Senator. I had to attend another committee meeting for a 
moment. 

What is the plan that the Bureau has for the operation of this proj- 
ect? I understood you were going to give us in 30 minutes a simple 
statement of just how this would work. Did you mention it before 
T came in ? If you did, I won't take your time. 

Mr. Straus. Yes; I did. I mentioned it briefly as I started out. 

The plan that the Bureau of Reclamation has is to proceed as it is 
proceeding under the present law, to secure contracts as it has secured 
contracts under the present law, with the acreage-restriction and the 
antispeculation provisions in them, and we feel that we shall be able 
to cany out that policy and have those contracts and deliver water 
under those contracts, if the present law is upheld. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 127 

Senator Watkins. To the irrigation districts? 

Mr. Straus. To the irrigation districts. 

Senator Watkins. And now under that policy will the irrigation 
districts, when they have repaid the amount paid out, own the project \ 

Mr. Straus. No. They are now getting — this is not directly in rela- 
tion with this bill. The type of contract that they are getting, Senator 
Watkins, and I know you are familiar with these, is known as the 9 
'(e) contract, providing 

Senator Watkins. The what ? 

Mr. Straus. The 9(e) contract, under the Reclamation Troject Act 
of 1939, which provides and permits the Bureau to deliver water to 
irrigation projects at a much lower rate than would be required if they 
had to make their construction repayment plus operation and mainte- 
nance charges within 40 years; and the 9 (e) contract prohibits any 
commitment of the water beyond 40 years, which is a requirement that 
the Congress laid down as, I presume, a quid pro quo for this very low 
rate that they are getting. 

Senator Watkins. In other words, under this type of contract that 
you are proposing, the Government would stay in the water business 
over the 40-year period ? 

Mr. Straus. Yes, sir. 

Senator Watkins. Or even beyond the time that they might figure 
the project had been paid for? 

Mr. Straus. Yes. The law prohibits making any commitment that 
runs beyond 39 years under that type of contract. 

Senator Watkins. There is power in this development as well — in 
this project — immense power? 

Mr. Straus. Oh, yes; immense power in Shasta Dam, and it is a 
multiple-purpose project, and power of course is paying a large part 
of the freight for irrigation water on this project. 

Senator Watkins. In other words, it makes it possible to rent the 
water to them at a cheaper rate ? 

Mr. Straus. Oh, yes; power is a paying partner here. 

Senator Watkins. Then as a matter of fact what you are giving 
these people is purely a rental contract in effect ? 

Mr. Straus. That is right ; on an interest-free basis. 

Senator Watkins. An interest-free basis rental contract ? 

Mr. Straus. Yes. 

Senator Watkins. Have you any idea in the end, when they pay for 
the project, of its going over to the farmers for their own operation — 
that you will operate it ; the Bureau will operate it ? 

Mr. Straus. I do not foreclose that as a future possibility. Senator, 
and I am not prepared to foreclose that as a future possibility. The 
present law does not permit any commitment to extend beyond 40 
years. The Congress may in the forthcoming 40 years well consider 
what type of provision it wants to make for the future and eventual 
disposition of the project. 

Mr. Fix. I might supplement that just for a moment. Senator. The 
Reclamation Act of 1939 lias the two types of contract: the so-called 
9 (d) type of contract, with which you are familiar, where the irriga- 
tion district has to make fujl payment within 40 years plus a 10-year 
development. Under that type of contract we turn over operation and 
maintenance at the end of that period, or even before, yet until Con- 



128 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

gress changes the law, the United States still retains title to the actual 
works. 

Under the 9 (d) contract, the Bureau can make a contract for 40 
years, but there is no requirement in that that the full repayment be 
paid out in that 40 years ; it may extend even for the life of the project 
if necessary. 

Senator Watkins. Is it on a repayment basis ? 

Mr. Fix. No, sir. 

Senator Watkins. That is what I would like to know. 

Mr. Fix. No, it is not. But a part of section 9 (e) provides that, if 
the United States builds a distribution system as distinguished from 
a water-service system, its repayment is to be under a 9 (d) contract, 
so the district has to pay the full cost of the distribution system within 
the 40 years plus the 10-year development period, and the distribution 
system would be turned over to the district. 

Senator Watkins. But the actual facility for providing the water, 
the storing of the water — and all of that, will still be owned by the 
United States? 

Mr. Fix. That is right, sir. 

Senator Watkins. And you, of course, consider the use beyond the 
40 years, beyond what the law states, that in effect it puts the Gov- 
ernment in the business of furnishing water 

Mr. Fix. That is right, sir. 

Senator Watkins. On the rental basis? That is what I wanted w 
see, the type of proposal you have here. 

Mr. Fix. Yes, sir. 

Senator Watkins. And that is what you intend now to offer as 
the alternative to the plan that Senator Downey and these men who 
have introduced this bill are proposing? 

Mr. Straus. This bill does not directly affect that. Presumably 
this bill would affect any type of contract, whether it was the old 
standard type that you are so familiar with up at Provo, or it would 
affect this new 9 (e) type. In both of them there is acreage restriction. 

Senator Watkins. So that you would even apply that to rentals as 
Avell as to outright sale ? 

Mr. Straus. Yes, sir. 
i Senator Watkins. I just want to make clear I am asking these ques- 
tions for information. My mind is open on the subject, and I want 
to see what we are talking about. 

Mr. Straus. Yes, sir. 

Senator Ecton. Thank you, Mr. Straus. This meeting will be 
recessed until 2 o'clock. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, could I have 2 or 3 minutes, only, 
before we leave? 

Senator Ecton. Yes, if you desire to. 

STATEMENT OF HON. SHERIDAN DOWNEY, SENATOR PROM THE 
STATE OF CALIFORNIA 

Senator Downey. I want to reply to one statement that the Com- 
missioner made. I have tried to make it an unfailing rule never to 
testify about private conversations or conferences, because I think it 
is a poor tiling to do ; but in view of the very extreme statement that 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 129 

Commissioner Straus just made of what Mr. Bashore, the former 
Commissioner, said to him, I think it obligatory for me to make public 
a few facts here. 

I probably had 20 or 25 conferences with Commissioner Bashore 
over the possibility of any acreage limitation in the Central Valley 
project. At the conclusion of every conference we ever had — and 
there were assistants and lawyers present at many of them — he 
admitted he had not been able to work out any practicable way of 
enforcing the acreage limitation in the Central Valley because of the 
underground water. 

He submitted to me at least 10 proposals in writing which he said 
were worked out by some kind of legislative committee in the Bureau 
of Reclamation, that we had hoped would solve the problem. He and 
I went over them, we went over them with other people, and he aban- 
doned every one of them. 

During that period, both before and after the discussion of those 
proposals I have mentioned, the Bureau of Reclamation or the Depart- 
ment of the Interior, through Mr. Hatch, introduced S. 1918, in the 
Seventy-eighth Congress : "A bill to provide for the settlement of war 
veterans, war workers, and others on the Central Valley project, for 
encouragement of the development of the project in family-size units, 
for cooperation by Federal, State, and private organizations to these 
ends, and for other purposes." 

Now, Mr. Bashore told me that that bill was forced upon his against 
his will, that he did not consider it a workable or proper bill. As I 
testified yesterday, we had hearings on that bill. Every Senator who 
heard it, both Republicans and Democrats, thought, and I do not be- 
lieve I am exaggerating when I say they thought it was an abominable 
bill; and Mr. Bashore, I am very sure, in the public hearings, at least 
to many of us, expressed his opposition to the bill and his repudiation 
of it. 

Mr. Bashore also told me that this very extreme — I would call it a 
totalitarian — bill that would have turned the whole Central Valley 
project over to the Secretary of the Interior to do what he wanted 
with it, came primarily out of the Political Action Committee of the 
CIO and was sold to some sort of legislative committee in the Bureau 
of Reclamation ; and I was waited on several times by national repre- 
sentatives of the CIO in relation to this bill. At that time it was 
stated to me that the plan had been worked out to have this bill im- 
properly referred by Mr. Wallace, then Vice President, not to the Com- 
mittee on Irrigation and Reclamation, to which it properly belonged, 
but to the Committee on Public Lands, which was done. Mr. Watkins, 
the parliamentarian, told me it was done against his advice, that he 
realized it was grossly improper. 

Now, I would not have made that statement except for what Com- 
missioner Straus has said in relation to Mr. Bashore. Mr. Bashore, 
I think, is an exceedingly honest man. He is still working for the 
Bureau of Reclamation, and they are at liberty to call him here, and 
I think he would tell this committee that right up to this very day he 
does not know any way of practically working out the 160-acre lim- 
itation in the Central Valley. 

Mr. Straus. I share the Senator's admiration of Mr. Bashore. We 
did ask Harry to come to testify to this committee. He is very, very 



130 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

familial- with this program. He did state he was going to get here. 
On Fridav I got a telegram from Mr. Bashore that said his doctor 
had not permitted him to come from his home in Mitchell, Nebr., to 
be here. 

With the committee's permission, in the event he does not arrive 
before yon conclude your hearings, and if the committee desires, I 
will ask Mr. Bashore to submit a statement of his views. (The state- 
ment referred to appears in the hearings of June 2.) 

Senator Ecton. We will consider that later, Mr. Straus. 

The committee is recessed until 2 o'clock. 

(Thereupon, at 12 : 30 p. m., a recess was taken until 2 p. m. of the 
same day.) 

AFTERNOON SESSION 

The subcommittee reconvened at 2 : 18 p. m., upon the expiration of 
the recess, in the district room of the Capitol. 

Senator Ecton. (presiding) . The committee will please be in order. 
Senator Downey, we shall be glad to hear you at this time. 

STATEMENT OF HON. SHERIDAN DOWNEY, SENATOR FROM THE 
STATE OF CALIFORNIA— Resumed 

Senator Downey. First, Mr. Chairman, I should like to refer to 
a pamphlet that was introduced by Commissioner Straus this morn- 
ing, entitled "Small Business and the Community — a Study in Cen- 
tral Valley of California on Effects of Scale of Farm Operations." 
This pamphlet was very carefully prepared by a professor in one. 
of our universities who made a study of the economic, social, and 
farming conditions in an area where small farms were prevalent, 
compared with an area where there were larger farms; and it is 
relied upon, I think, as a sort of a bible by the opponents of this 
legislation. 

I therefore would like to read into the record out of this pamphlet 
two short quotations. The district studied by the author of this 
pamphlet was the Arvin-Edison District, which is the irrigation dis- 
trict that was surveyed by the Bureau of Keclamation that has the 
largest size parcels. One of those parcels that has probably at- 
tracted more attention that any other is the so-called DiGiorgio parcel 
of about 8,000 acres of fruit and vineyard. I believe it is the largest — 
at least one of the largest — fruit parcels in the whole State of Cali- 
fornia. The DiGiorgio Corporation owns the property. The stock 
of that corporation is owned by about 8,000 stockholders scattered 
over the United States, generally Italians of small means, and the 
average holding ranges from $1,000 to $1,500 apiece. 

In California it costs about a minimum of $1,000 an acre to bring 
what we call specialized lands into crops. From now on it may cost 
i welve or thirteen or fourteen hundred dollars because of the increased 
prices. In the development of this property there was about $10,- 
< M)< ),<)(><) invested. I have been all over the property. It has very deep 
wells, and irrigation — a very efficient irrigation system, pumping 
plants, railroad spurs, homes for the workers, a packing house, and so 
on. In this area there are also several other large parcels ranging 
upward from 2,000 or 2,500 acres. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 131 

We also chose the Arvin-Edison water storage district for an in- 
tensive study in connection with this bill and we will later present 
evidence on it — for one reason: it does contain the largest parcels 
of all the area surveyed and I think the largest average size of any 
area in Central Valley project. 

In this chart, prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation, as I have 
.stated heretofore, 23 percent of the land is shown to be in excess 
land. We selected the Madera irrigation district for a particular 
presentation to this committee because it is typical. In the Madera 
district 22 percent is in excess land; but in the Arvin-Edison, about 
which I am now talking, 42 percent of the total land in the district 
is in excess lands. 

Now, I think it is undoubtedly true that if Mr. DiGiorgio had not 
gone down to the very arid desert around Bakersfield and invested 
this $10,000,000, no development would have taken place there at 
all ; I think it would still be arid land. That is my own opinion. Up 
to the time he went in, hundreds of small farmers had endeavored 
to pioneer on that desert land and had failed. I talked with many 
of the former family-size farmers down there who had attempted 
to produce vineyards, or some other type of farming, and had failed. 

This pamphlet of which T am speaking, which describes the com- 
parative conditions in Arvin and Dinuba, on page 22, carries this 
statement : 

High water costs do not render small farming impossible, yet it must be rec- 
ognized that the great expense and the resulting high risk in the development 
of Arvin lands, together with the cultural inertia in forming cooperative ar- 
rangements, serve to inhibit the growth of small farming. Therefore, while 
small farming is feasible and profitable, with proper price relationships, the 
economics of the Arvin situation under present conditions militate against the 
development of the family farm and in favor of corporation agriculture. 

And I think it is the general consensus of agriculturalists that that 
statement is true ; that probably only a great, well-financed corporation 
could have made the development in the Arvin District that has been 
made. 

Also, I desire to place in the record, out of this same pamphlet, from 
the top of page 34, another statement, relating to one of our very un- 
happj' and very black problems in California. California, unfortu- 
nately, like a great many other States, has hundreds of thousands of 
what we term seasonal workers who may be in a certain area for as 
short a time as 2 weeks or 6 weeks or 2 or 3 months. I suppose that 
in any year there may be as high as 400,000 or 500,000 of the seasonal 
workers up and down the 3 States of the Pacific coast : Oregon, Wash- 
ington, and California. There are insufficient accommodations for 
them. They live under unsanitary arrangements. Their children 
have very poor educational opportunities. The disease ratio is high, 
and it is a very unhappy and black picture. It has been very super- 
ficially argued that the industrial, the large farms, have caused this 
unfortunate condition of seasonal labor, and that if you can break 
up the big farms into those of 1G0 acres you will do away with the 
seasonal labor. 

Well, that statement is just entirely 100 percent false. Our seasonal 
labor problem comes from our specialized type of crops, in which a 
man with as low as 65 acres of cotton will need 15 workers to pick 
his cotton ; and you could make a good argument on either side as to 



132 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

whether conditions of these seasonal workers are worse where there 
are the big farms or the small ones. There are certain factors on both 
sides, and I do not intend to go into that question at this time. We 
may later. But this very careful survey, that was made with a strong 
bias, I think, in favor of the small farm, finds that the seasonal-labor 
conditions are worse in the Dinuba area — that is the area of the small 
farms — than in the Arvin area. 
I quote now from this pamphlet : 

The seasonal fluctuation in labor requirement is great in both communities. 
Arvin demand varies from 132,000 hours in March to 525,000 hours in July (or 
four times the minimum). Dinuba demand for labor varies from 124,000 hours 
in November to 669,000 in September (over five times the minimum). Season- 
ality of employment opportunity is a serious problem in both towns, but is worse 
in Dinuba than Arvin. 

Now, also, Mr. Chairman, in view of the closing remarks of Com- 
missioner Straus in relation to what Mr. Bashore is alleged to have 
said to him about enforcing, as I understood him, the 160-acre limita- 
tion in the Central Valley project, I wish now to read page 209 of 
the hearing before a subcommittee of the Committee on Irrigation and 
Reclamation on S. Res. 295, and I read from close to the top of page 
209. I had been conducting a long examination of Mr. Bashore, and 
finally Ave came up to this statement : 

Now my final question, Mr Bashore, and then I am through: Have you 
any plan, Mr. Bashore, other than the one contained in S. 1948 that you care 
to recommend to this committee that you believe will make it possible to 
restrict the use of underground waters in the Central Valley project to 160 acres 
of land? 

Mr. Bashore. I don't have any plan or any solution to offer to this committee 
at this time for the application of the 160-acre limitation to underground water. 
I hope, Mr. Chairman, that information will be furnished this committee as 
we proceed with these hearings, but frankly I must say that I am not of the 
opinion that a solution will be offered. I don't know what the solution of 
that is 

Chairman Downey. Do you say you are of the opinion that one will be offered? 

Mr. Bashore. I am afraid that it will not be offered. I don't know that any- 
body can offer the absolute solution of that problem except by denying water to 
a complete area, and that is no solution, in my opinion. 

Chairman Downey. It would be a pretty cruel solution. 

Mr. Bashore. That is no solution. 

Chairman Downey. Mr. Bashore, I am very much obliged to you — 

and so on. 

Now I want to say that this hearing is filled with statements by 
Mr. Bashore, other than the ones I have just read, of a similar tenor, 
that I think clearly indicate that he felt that the Bureau of Reclama- 
tion had been unable to find any solution of the problem with which 
we are dealing; and Mr. Bashore, in common with all the other people 
of the Bureau of Reclamation, later totally abandoned the bill that 
we were then investigating, and the bill received the condemnation 
of every Senator who was on the committee, all as appears in this 
report. 

Mr. Chairman, I wish now to present, for a short questioning, 
Mr. Boyd Stewart, who sits here at the table next to the press. Mr. 
Stewart was selected by me to make a complete investigation of 
various facts in the Central Valley project, I selected him because 
of his high reputation as an agriculturist and because of my con- 
fidence in him. He is presently a member of the State Committee, 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 133 

Production and Marketing Administration, United States Department 
of Agriculture, in California, but is here speaking only for himself per- 
sonally, although his examination and testimony is with the consent 
of Secretary Anderson, and I should like to question Mr. Stewart, 
with the permission of the committee. 

Senator Ectox. Will you state your name in full, with your official 
title, Mr. Stewart? 

Mr. Stewart. All right, Senator. 

STATEMENT OP BOYD STEWART, MEMBER OF STATE COMMITTEE, 
PRODUCTION AND MARKETING ADMINISTRATION, UNITED 
STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, OLEMA, CALIF. 

Mr. Stewart. Senator, I am Boyd Stewart. My address is Olema, 
Marin County, Calif. I am a dairy man and livestock rancher. I 
am a member of the State Committee, Production and Marketing Ad- 
ministration, United States Department of Agriculture. 

As Senator Downey said, Senator Ecton, I am expressing my own 
personal views, although the permission of the Secretary of the De- 
partment of Agriculture for me to appear was granted, but no views 
that I express are theirs, and that must be explicitly understood, be- 
cause I have no authority to speak for them, and it would not be per- 
missible. 

Senator Ectox. The committee understands that, Mr. Stewart. 
Proceed. 

Senator Downey. Now, Mr. Stewart, at my request did you pro- 
ceed to the Madera irrigation district and to the Arvin-Eclison dis- 
trict for an examination of the lands and properties and farming 
methods and holdings in those districts ? 

Mr. Stewart. I did. 

Senator Dowxey. Mr. Stewart, it is in evidence here already, by 
the chart of the Bureau of Reclamation, that in the Madera dis- 
trict there are about 164,000 acres of land, of which almost 37,000 
acres is so-called excess land which comprises, according to this chart, 
about 22 percent of the total. Now, we have here the telegram of Mr. 
Barnes that, of this 36,000 acres, 22,000 is dry-farmed to grain. 

Now, are you in a general way familiar with that area in the Madera 
that is dry-farmed to grain? 

Mr. Stewart. Yes. At one time or another, Senator, I think I 
have been over the roads of most of that district. I may not be famil- 
iar with any specific properties, but I think I have seen all of the grain 
area of that district. 

Senator Dowxey. Now will you please describe to the committee 
what is the general nature of this 22,000 acres or of this dry-farmed 
grain land that we are speaking of ? 

Mr. Stewart. Well, the dry-farmed grain area of the county, Sen- 
ator, is an area that: do you mean of the county or of the district? 

Senator Dowxey. Of the district, I am speaking, although if you 
want to speak of the county it is all right. 

Mr. Stewart. Well, the county is quite large, the district only takes 
in farming a small portion of the county. The grain land in the dis- 
trict that is not irrigated is farmed on a summer-fallow cropping 
system. Some of it is land that might be irrigated under some condi- 



134 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATiUiso 

tions. That is, some of it could be leveled if water could be gotten 
to it, although it is generally poorer class land, and some of it, of 
course, may not have water under it, but most of it is land that up to 
the present has not paid to level and to irrigate. 

Senator Downey. Have you an opinion as to how much it would 
cost to level an average piece of this ground, Mr. Stew T art? 

Mr. Stewart. Well, I have opinions. Senator. It is hard to tell 
what it would cost to level a specific piece of land without seeing it. 
Leveling costs will vary from a low of. at today's prices, around a 
hundred dollars and up to several hundred dollars, depending upon 
how much dirt is being moved. It can be very expensive to level land. 
The grain area in the district, most of which is not very level, would be 
quite expensive to level; I wonld think it would cost in excess of a 
hundred dollars to level. 

Senator Downey. Now, that is generally rather rough and rolling 
ground \ 

Mr. Stewart. It is rough and rolling if you are speaking of irri- 
gated land, that is, of flat land. A good part of it is not too rough 
nor too rolling to be leveled. Senator, although some of it is. How- 
ever, there is another problem that enters into the leveling of that land. 
Some of it is shallow soil, lower-grade soils that are shallow, with hard 
pan under them. It may leave spots that would not produce if you 
leveled it. 

Senator Downey. Xow, in your opinion would this land that is 
dry-farmed to grain be suitable for breaking up into family-size 
farms or small farms — farms, say, of 160 acres? 

Mr. Stewart. I think that part of the dry-f armed-grain land which 
can be economically leveled and irrigated would be most suited to irri- 
gated grain and permanent pasture. It is shallow soil and generally is 
unsuitable for fruit and alfalfa. I do not consider 160 acres of irri- 
gated grain or permanent pasture a desirable economic unit. 

Senator Downey. What would you consider is the size presently of 
an economic unit there, as dry-farmed to grain? 

Mr. Stewart. Oh, with modern equipment such as is used in that 
area generally. I would think it would be in excess of 1,000 acres. 

Senator Downey. What would you consider would be an economic 
and reasonable unit if this land were put into irrigated pasturage and 
irrigated grain land ? 

Mr. Stewart. Well, if it were to go into irrigated pasture and to be 
used for the purpose for which a good deal of irrigated pasture in the 
general Central Valley is used, namely, for the pasturing of beef cattle, 
I would think a section of land. 

Senator Downey. Would be an economic unit ? 

Mr. Stewart. Yes. 

If it were to go into grain, more than that, because of the expensive 
equipment that must be owned for farming— for planting, for pre-. 
paring a bearing seed bed, and planting, and for harvesting. Even' 
in irrigated grain yon still have a tendency toward large-sized opera- 
tions because of the equipment involved. So that it would take in 
excess of a section and up to 1.000 acres, or in that neighborhood, to 
make an economic unit. I have observed over a period of time that it 
takes about a section of irrigated pasture, if used for beef feeding 
or sheep grazing and it takes about 1,000 acres of grain to provide an 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 135 

adequate living for people and to keep them fully employed. It does 
not take a lot of help to handle such enterprises. 

Senator Downey. Well, under natural, normal conditions, follow- 
ing the pattern of the past development of lands in California, have 
you an opinion as to when we might expect that this land would pass 
out of dry-farmed-grain land into the irrigated pasture or other irri- 
gated uses, if it follows that course I 

Mr. Stewart. Well, judged by the pattern that you can see in the 
past, Senator, if you look at what has happened to land, over a period 
of time I would expect if you started irrigating that land you would 
go from the first large and probably less valuable use of it, in perma- 
nent pasture and irrigated grain, to higher uses, uses that would bring 
a greater return per acre, provided that methods of growing crops 
on the land can be worked out, and there is an outlet for such crops. 

It is not a simple thing, Senator, in California, to go from the 
gross uses of land to the highly specialized and concentrated uses 
of it. I sometimes get disturbed by the idea that you can endlessly 
plant grapes and plant fruit trees, or put in specialty vegetables, and 
market them. We have had some sad experience in this State in the 
past with overproduction of specialty crops. The production-and- 
consumption balance on specialty crops is a delicate one, and land needs 
to go into them as there is an outlet for the crops. 

In answer to your question, Senator; it may very well be a long 
period of time before the land was all irrigated because in the first 
place you would have to determine that the land would be suitable 
for smaller-sized operations, and then you would have to adapt the 
people and the land to that production. Sometimes these different 
lands require different techniques in farming. It sounds simple when 
someone is discussing it, but it becomes complicated when a man makes 
a large investment and has to pa}^ it out and make a living while doing 
so. 

Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Stewart, with prices in California as 
they are now, and costs, tell the committee about how much it would 
cost per acre to bring that land into specialty crops. 

Mr. Stewart. Well, Senator, it is hard to give an accurate answer 
to that. Anyone that would pretend to answer that would have to have 
available the cost figures of someone who had just recently developed 
land in that area. I have some idea as to what it would cost. 

If you wanted to put in a vineyard or an orchard, assuming that 
the land was suitable, assuming that it was not too hard to level, you 
could figure that a vineyard or an orchard, at the fourth year for the 
vines, and the fifth or sixth year for the orchard, would cost somewhere 
in the neighborhood of $800 to $1,000 for the vineyard and in excess 
of that for an orchard, ready to bear, per acre. 

However, there again, there isn't anything realistic about such fig- 
ures, because it depends upon what the operator is going to do. If a 
loan buys a section of land and develops it and applies his capital 
invt^tment against 600 acres — his house, his tools, his facilities — it is 
one thing. If he buys 40 acres of land it is another thing. He is pre- 
sumably going to have a reasonable standard of living and build a 
house that today is going to cost him $10,000, he is going to build some 
sheds and put up some fences. Some of the capital costs will be 
measured by the amount of land, but the permanent improvements 



136 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

where he lives won't ; and while the equipment will to some degree, it 
won't be totally. So that the cost per acre of setting up an operating 
unit varies according to the number of acres that a man sets up. 

I do not know whether I have made myself clear or not, Senator, but 
if you put a $10,000 house on a 40-acre farm or a 400-acre farm, one 
lias 10 times as much cost per acre for the capital investment as the 

other. , , _ _ ' 

Senator Ectox. Well, Mr. Stewart, what value would you place on 
an acre of that land properly leveled, without any vineyards or with- 
out any orchards on it, ready to plant your vineyard or to plant your 
orchard? What ordinarily would be the fair value of a raw acre of 
land ? 

Mr. Stewart. Leveled, Senator? 

Senator Ecton. Yes. 

Mr. Stewart. And with a well on it to produce water ? 

Senator Ecton. Yes. 

Mr. Stewart. There again 

Senator Ecton. I do not mean one acre. 

Mr. Stew t art. Yes. 

Senator Ecton. But I mean an average in a unit that would be sat- 
isfactory for a family-type farm. 

Mr. Stewart. Well, assuming that you had 160 acres and that you 
put a well on it that would supply water for that acreage 

Senator Ecton. Xo improvements. I am not 

Mr. Stewart. No improvements on the land. I would think that 
before you ever planted anything and before you ever distributed your 
water on your land, assuming you could distribute it without a pipe 
system, or assuming that you would pay for your pipe system if you 
had to use pipe, you would have somewhere in the neighborhood of 
$400 an acre. If you had to put in pipe 

Senator Ecton. That is much lower than I suspected. 

Mr. Stewart. Well, when you go to put in a water-distributing 
system you will add nearly another $100 an acre. After you get an 
acre of land developed with a pipe system on it, with the land now 
costing you $500 an acre, and you have no living facilities on it, a 
person is talking about a sizable sum of money to be invested, and 
the value of the land can only be measured by its return and while 
today's prices are exorbitantly high, I do not think that you can 
use them. For instance, I mean this : It is possible to buy vineyards 
today for $2,200, $2,300, and $2,400 an acre, bearing. I am a rancher ; 
I do not live in that valley. But through my work I have been up 
and down it for the last 7 years, and I would not consider that anybody 
was doing anything wise at all who would invest such a sum of money 
in land, nor proportionately in bare land, even though you can get 
great returns per acre back from the products of an acre to justify such 
prices. You can get a teriffic income from crops on an acre basis 
today — or you could last year. 

Senator Ectox. But it is your thought that anyone who wished to 
buy a parcel of this land to start that kind of farming operations 
would necessarily have to invest between $300 or $400 an acre in the 
raw land? 

Mr. Stewart. Well, now. wait. 

Senator Ectox. At least that? 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 187 

Mr. Stewart. Do not misunderstand me, Senator. Today it would 
be hard to get by for that. All costs are even higher than they were. 
Land has been high down there for some time and it is higher now 
than it was. 

Senator Downey. Well, it has been high all over California, hasn't 
it, Mr. Stewart I 

• Mr. Stewart. That is right. It has been high all over the State. 
and it is not uncommon at all to see, in Tulare Lake Basin area, for 
instance, land selling at $150 an acre, and subject to flood, so you 
couldn't ever live on it. Land in the Madera I would guess today 
would sell for $250 an acre. 

Senator Ectox. What is the average-size farm unit, operated by 
families on the land themselves, and which is making a comfortable 
living for the family? Do you have any information on that? 

Mr. Stewart. Senator, 1 have some general ideas. When you ask 
me if I have information, let me qualify it by saying this : I am not a 
statistician and I am not much interested in a statistical farm, but I 
have observed people operating farms. I am answering you in a 
general way, from what I have observed of farming in the valley 
and in the State. 

It depends entirely upon the time, price, price levels, that is, that 
you are enjoying at a given time. Twenty acres of raisin vineyard last 
year would return a family a very nice living. I do not know what 
it will return in 1917 since there is great apprehension over the price 
of raisins. 

Senator Ectox. Could they go in debt for that land 75 percent of 
its value and pay out and still have a good living, even under present 
conditions and prices? 

Mr. Stewart. Even under present levels of prices, I do not think 
so ; while prices have been very favorable to specialty crops, they never 
remain that way. Even though the price levels at which you sell re- 
main high, your costs begin to catch up with you. All of the things you 
buy that are put into the making of a crop gradually come up. Occa- 
sionally there are periods when we farmers are ahead of prices. That 
is, our products are selling at a relatively higher level than the com- 
modities that we buy. I think both you gentlemen and Senator Downey 
appreciate that fact. 

That is happening now. Even if prices stay along at their present 
levels, I do not think they could pay out. Although a small acreage 
today will return a handsome income, I do not think that a man would 
dare to make such a gamble. I do not think a financial agency would 
be very wise in assisting in making such a gamble. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Stewart, assume that dry-farmed grain land 
could be given to a veteran — we will say, an ordinary young able man 
who might have a greater or less degree of ability as a farmer. What 
chances do you think that that veteran would have to take that raw 
piece of land, level it, put up his home, put in a pumping plant or a 
gravity system, buy in tools and equipment, and bring his orchard into 
bearing at the end of 4 or 5 years? What chance do you think that he 
has, even if the land is given to him ? Would he have a chance to come 
through successfully ? 

Mr. Stewart. How much land, Senator? 



138 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Downey. Well, whatever would you think would be the 
most economic unit that the man could have ? Suppose he does have 
$30,000 or $40,000 to invest, we will say, in a 40- or 50-acres of special- 
ized crops, what chance then, even if the land is given to him? 

Mr. Stewart. You mean to take the land that is now in grain and 
develop it into some of these specialty crops ? 

Senator Downey. Yes, that is right. 

Mr. Stewart. Well, I would be sorry to see him do it, just judging 
by what I have seen of the past, Senator. 

Senator Ecton. Well, I think, Senator, that any veteran who had 
$40,000 or $50,000 to invest would not be interested in going out there 
and farming. 

Mr. Stewart. That is right. 

[Laughter.] 

Senator Ecton. He would be plain crazy if he did. That is my 
opinion. 

Mr. Stewart. That is right. 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Stewart. Senator, the record in California runs this way: 
whenever you go to develop new crops on land, to change the use 
of land, you are pioneering, and the risks are very high. 

Senator Ecton. That is right. 

Mr. Stewart. And the losses, the mortality, is very high. I would 
say that that would be an unhappy situation. Now, it would be just as 
unhappy, of course, if a man goes into a place and borrows money. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Stewart, in this pamphlet that was intro- 
duced, this study of Dinuba and Arvin 

Mr. Stewart. Yes, sir. 

Senator Downey. The author there emphasizes that there was a com- 
mon saying in Dinuba that it took — I believe I am quoting it cor- 
rectly — two veterans, two farmers who pioneered, before the third 
farmer made good. 

Now, will you express your opinion on that? 

Mr. Stewart. Well, yes ; I have to agree that that is an axiom that 
you can hear around the country. I do know, from what I have 
observed and what people have told me of the settlement and develop- 
ment of these various tracts of land that have been subdivided, that 
that is a sort of pattern, you find. Now, whether two people go broke 
on it and a third one makes it go, or not, is not important, but the thing 
that has happened is that men have tried to divide land up and operate 
it, and there is no formula that can be used to determine what will make 
an economic unit on a given piece of land during a given period of 
time. 

Senator Ecton. It depends a lot on the individual himself, does it 
not, Mr. Stewart ? 

Mr. Stewart. His ingenuity, his management ability, Senator. 
That is right. 

Senator Ecton. Isn't it true that some men have more than they can 
handle with 10 acres, and another man can handle a thousand? 

Mr. Stewart. That is right, Senator. It is a matter of fitting the 
man and the times to the land that you have and the techniques of 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 139 

farming that are available; and they are not things that are subject 
to a statistical formula or to formularized procedure. 

Senator Ectox. I think you are right. 

Senator Downey. All right, Mr. Stewart. Let us depart from the 
dry-farmed grain land down to already highly developed and irrigated 
lands in the Madera. What is the largest parcel of irrigated developed 
.land in the Madera that you saw. that you know about ? 

Mr. Stewart. Well, there is some pasture and there are some large 
vineyards. There is one holding, a vineyard, that is quite large. I 
remember : a holding with a winery on it. I do not know the size of it. 
Senator, but maybe three or four sections of land all told. 

Senator Downey. Is that the Arakelian holding ? 

Mr. Stewart. Yes ; the Arakelian holding. 

Senator Downey. I believe that is given at 2.400 acres. 

Mr. Bates. 2,430 gross. 

Senator Downey. 2.430 gross, on the information sheet furnished us 
by the Bureau of Reclamation. 

Mr. Stewart. There are some other fairly good sized vineyards. 
There are a few pieces of permanent pasture. There is one very large 
dairy. As I remember it those are the largest holdings. I cannot re- 
call other than that. 

Senator Downey. Is there any economic explanation ; that is, any ex- 
planation of natural economic forces — explaining why this particular 
vineyard has as much as 2.500 acres in grapes? Is that something 
usual, or abnormal? 

Mr. Stewart. Well, I was going to answer you rather facetiously, 
in line with what Senator Ecton has just said, Senator, and say that 
Arakelian is an able manager and a smart businessman. I do not know 
the man at all, but his properties show very, very able management. 
But there is another explanation, however, that should be pointed out 
in the case of this vineyard. Wineries customarily like to own enough 
vineyards so that they are assured of a crush, and are able to control 
the quality of their wine. Any winery that puts out a branded, trade 
marked wine must keep it on the market. They must maintain their 
supply regardless of whether grapes would bring more for fresh 
shipment, or for raisins. They have to produce wine and have it on 
the market, and they have to control the quality of it. 

Now, by and large, in California, where we produce a great deal 
of wine, the wineries, that are not cooperative — there are quite a num- 
ber of them — own quite an acreage of grapes. Senator. 

Senator Downey. All right. Do you know any practical financial 
way, by operation under the Federal law or the State law, or com- 
bined, that that land could be taken away from Mr. Arakelian 
and used as settlement for veterans? 

Mr. Stewart. Why. I do not know. The State got involved in two 
projects after the last war, Senator, where they bought land in Delhi 
and Durham and settled it. But I do not quite understand you. You 
mean could it 

Senator Downey. Well, let me say this : you will be followed by Mr. 
Hermann, head of one of our big veterans' organizations, from San 
Francisco, a very able and a very honest and a very sincere man, who 
is going to be here to tell us that this 160-acre limitation should in 
some way be used to open up settlement for veterans: and we are just 



140 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

testing the possibility in this Madera district, and we will take up 
other areas. 

Now you are suggesting that the only thing you know that could 
be clone would be for the Federal Government or the State to buy 
the Arakelian holdings and then subdivide them for veterans? 

Mr. Stewart. Well, I do not quite see, Senator, how you pro- 
pose to settle — how else you would settle veterans on land unless you 
allow normal condition to obtain, and allow people who want to buy 
farms to go ahead and buy them. 

Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Stewart, I have no answer to it myself. 
I have no idea how anybody intends to go about using this land — 
privately owned and highly developed in specialized crops — land that 
is already privately owned for veteran settlement, and yet I think 
the idea has been widely prevalent in California that by some use of 
this 160-acre limitation large areas of lands may be opened up reason- 
ably and cheaply for the veterans in a way that will provide them a 
fair opportunity for success. 

Mr. Chairman, in connection with this particular discussion I now 
want to place a short quotation in the record from the hearings on 
the Rivers and Harbors omnibus bill that contained the Elliott 
amendment, before the Subcommittee of the Commerce Commktee 
of the United States Senate on H. R. 3961, Seventy-eighth Cong] ess. 
On page 762 of this pamphlet Mr. Warne, Assistant Commissioner 
of Reclamation, placed certain statistics in the record about the success 
of small farming in one particular reclamation district; and Mr. 
Warne made this statement. Quoting : "It is a very interesting recital 
he makes" — 

My own language, now : referring to the writer of the letter : — "of 
a successful operation." 

Now, the quotation that I am about to read is from a letter addressed 
to Mr. Bashore and signed by Fred M. Roush, the superintendent of the 
Goshen irrigation district, at Torrington, Wyoming. I quote now 
from this letter from Mr. Roush : 

Goshen Irrigation District, 
Torrington, Wyo., April 28, 19J t Jf. 
Mr. II. W. Basiiokk. 

Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation, 

Washington, D. C. 

Deab Mb. Bashore: Your letter of April 17 r regarding "veteran settlement on 
Irrigated land," received and contents noted. Four of our five-man board of 
commissioners are ex-servicemen and all drew units under our project after 
World War I. Our cost-keeper, Mr. Jack Harnan, also drew a unit. I am a 
veteran and starting my seventh year as superintendent of this project. From 
our records and the experience of these men, together with my contacts and 
associations with the veterans of World War I under our project, I will attempt 
to answer some of the questions outlined in your letter. 

We have over 700 units in our project owned and occupied by several hundred 
operators. It speaks well for the veteran in the fact that four are very active 
on our present hoard, when you consider the amount of time required for the 
small amount of remuneration received. I find in our veteran community, around 
Veteran, Wyo.. a spirit of cooperation and a high degree of patriotism. As a rule, 
veteran communities are forward and progressive. The veterans are invariably 
leaders in their communities. No doubt, this is due to their military training to 
some extent. 

Three hundred and fifteen veterans of World War I drew units under original 
homestead entry. Of this number, 58 are now living on the land under our 
project, ol which HO can be considered successful to very successful, and 8 are 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 141 

.not so successful but are still making a living on the land by doing some outside 
work for additional income. These eight have very poor units. Fifty-five others 
.who drew units still own them. Some are holding the land as an investment, 
•some have moved to town for better educational facilities for their children. 
This makes a total of 113, or about 36 percent of the original 315 veterans, 
still holding units under our project. 

Of the 113 original veteran homesteaders still owning their units, many (by 
husband and wife or immediate family) control 2 or more units. This is 
especially true of the 50 successful veterans now living on the land. Many 
of our units contain less than 80 acres of land. Time has proven under our project, 
with modern methods of mechanized farming in use, 'a full 80 acres of irrigated 
land is not an economic unit when you consider the investment tied up in 
equipment. To properly utilize this equipment and receive a fair return on this 
investment, more farm land is needed. If it cannot be purchased it becomes 
necessary to rent it. 

The original veteran homesteaders came from all walks in life. Of the 50 
successful ones, a large majority came from farm families or were raised west 
of the Mississippi River. A few were professional men and were able to earn 
some outside income during the slack periods on the farm. During the early 
stages of development, it was necessary for many to seek outside employment 
when possible. I find a large number of them have worked for the district 
on rock rip-rap work or ditch cleaning during the off-irrigation season. Others 
have ridden ditch during the irrigation season. Due to insufficient financial aid 
the veteran was forced to earn some outside income, until such time as the 
raw lands were put in shape to produce an ample return, sufficient to meet oper- 
ation and maintenance charges, construction charges, taxes, and the support 
of his family. 

Of the 80 veterans drawing units in 1920—206 in 1921, and 29 in 1927—202 
have disposed of them. Mr. Harnan estimated that at least 20 percent of the 
202 drew poor or submarginal units and had very little chance of success. Some 
left because they lacked financial backing to carry on, some sold their relinquish- 
ments, and others sold their units as land prices rose in value. Others have 
changed title because of death. When you consider a majority of these veterans 
drew their units about a quarter of a century ago, the 36 percent still owning 
their land is a very good percentage, especially having gone through the depres- 
sion of the 1930's. Businessmen in Torrington and the towns in our district do 
not have as good a record of survival. It is impossible to break down the 
number falling under each of the above classifications or to state definitely the 
actual number failing. Off-hand, we believe the actual number of out-and-out 
failures to be small. 

Of the failures occurring under our project, the reasons are placed in order as 
to the importance of cause, and are as follows: (1) Poor and submarginal units, 
(2) lack of financial aid during periods of stress and while land is being put into 
production, (3) the depression period through which we passed prior to World 
War II, (4) land drawn by some who never would succeed, either through pool- 
management or lack of ambition, (5) lack of irrigation-farming educational 
services from county agents or other services. 

For future settlement of veterans on irrigated lands in projects built by the 
Bureau of Reclamation, we believe the following should be considered : 

(1) Only veterans interested in making their living from the soil should be 
permitted to file on units. Their chances of success are better and may elim- 
inate speculators obtaining land. 

(2) Size of unit should be in line with type of agriculture. The type of agri- 
culture of course is governed primarily by soil and climatic conditions. 

(3) Adequate financing, but not excessive financing. The veteran should have 
sufficient financial aid, at a reasonable or low rate of interest, for the construc- 
tion of essential improvements and for preparing the land to produce crops, 
thereby reducing the period of time in reaching reasonable production. Some 
advocate including all or part of the improvements in the repayment plan. 

(4) Assistance through county agents, or Bureau of Reclamation field repre- 
sentatives qualified in line with type of agriculture and proper methods of irri- 
gation. The Soil Conservation Service in many localities is now qualified to 
assist in irrigation problems, such an overirrigation, wind and water erosion, and 
soil adaptability to proper type of crops. An inexperienced veteran can succeed 
with proper education and supervision, if interested in securing his livelihood 
from the soil and is ambitious and industrious. 

62453—47 10 



142 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

(5) The original classification of lands under a new project should be made 
carefully and intelligently with a chance of reclassification after each 5-year 
period, until the project has stabilized. Seepage, alkali, and other conditions 
often change the character of the land and soil. 

You will find enclosed several case histories. The names have been omitted, 
but may be secured upon request. We will be glad at any time to furnish 
more information. 

Trusting this information is somewhat in line with your request. 

I am, very truly yours, 

Fred M. Roush, 

Superintendent. 

CASE HISTORIES UNDER GOSHEN IRRIGATION DISTRICT 

Case 1. — Veteran A drew a unit under the first land drawing in 1920. The unit 
consisted of 160 acres, of which 80 acres were irrigated and classified as 12 acres 
of class 3 and 68 acres of class 5. Veteran A came from Lexington, Nebr., a farm 
community. His finances were limited. After building a house and a small 
amount of improvements, started farming operations. Most of the land was heavy 
and sticky, which made it hard to work. Crops were poor, forcing him to do 
some outside work. The neighbors thought him worthless, when, as a matter 
of fact, he was discouraged. 

In 1927, he was allowed an exchange of entry, consisting of 120 acres, of 
which 91 acres were irrigable and class 2 land. Today he is a prosperous farmer. 
His farm has excellent improvements and he is a leader in his community. He 
is raising and feeding excellent beef cattle. Today, he owns additional irrigated 
land. Veteran A is a member of the county weed board, a member of the board 
of the R. E. A., has been a member of the Goshen County beet growers' board, 
and very active in the 4-H clubs and other organizations. 

Case 2. — Veteran B came from Eastern Nebraska and from the farm, drawing 
a unit of 160 acres with 83 acres irrigated, consisting of 38 acres of class 3 
and 45 cases of class 5. This unit was east of veteran A's unit. When veteran 
A received an exchange of entry, veteran B's unit was revised to include an addi- 
tional 40 acres, of which 36 acres was irrigated and class 5 land. With this 
additional land, veteran B irrigated his class 5 land and produced native hay. 
His class 3 land, and some of the better class 5 land, was put into alfalfa hay and 
other crops. He also rented additional land nearby. He had foresight and 
vision to start raising beef cattle and poultry. Today veteran B is making an 
excellent living tor his family and building toward the future. He is a member 
of the Wyoming House of Representatives from Goshen County, a member of 
the board of commissioners of the Goshen irrigation district, and very active 
in community affairs — a stable citizen and an asset to the community. 

Cane 3. — Veteran C came from western Nebraska and was a farmer. He drew 
a unit of 160 acres, with 44 acres of class 5 land which developed almost entirely 
into seep. He was unsuccessful until he received an exchange of entry. This 
new unit consists of SO acres, of which 76 acres are irrigated, and class 1 land. 
He rented additional land and now owns additional. Today he is very successful 
and prosperous. With his diversified farming he has fed cattle and increased 
the fertility of the soil. He is an ex-member of our board of commissioners, a 
member of P. C. A. and very active in community affairs. 

Case .}.— Veteran 1) was an employee of the Bureau of Reclamation, operating 
8 dragline. He drew a unit of 160 acres, of which 62 acres were irrigated and 
class 1 hind. Veteran 1) continued to operate a dragline for the Government to 
finance the cost of improving the unit. Later he purchased an adjoining unit 
and farmed them himself. His farming is diversified and. feeding sheep to in- 
crease the fertility of the soil. Veteran D is exceptionally successful, with excel- 
lont Improvements on the farm. He is a member of the county weed board, 
board member of the soil district, active in school and community affairs. 

Case .7.— Veteran E came from Illinois and was not a farmer. He drew a 
unit of 80 acres, with 78 acres of class 1 irrigated land. He had more finances 
than the average. He farmed the land for about 6 years before selling out. 
Veteran E was not the type to succeed on a farm. He was very well educated, 
lacked farm experience, and used poor judgment. He sold the farm, taking a 
very small loss. Today this unit is one of the best farms under the project. 

Case (J.— Veteran F came from eastern Nebraska with experience in a hard- 
ware store. He drew a unit of <S0 acres, with 78 acres of class 1 irrigated land. 
\\ lule veteran F did not have any farm experience he did have good financial 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 143 

aid and good judgment. Today he has a well-improved unit and extremely suc- 
cessful. He is a board member of the REA, ex-member of the farmers co-op 
board, active in school and community affairs. For -a number of years he has 
farmed additional land. He has been quite successful through feeding cattle 
which keeps up the fertility of the soil. 

You will note that the writer leaves the conclusion that the mor- 
tality of one out of three or one out of six succeeding there were just 
as good as that of local retail stores. The letter does not state whether 
that the one out of six who owned his land but had moved into the 
cities was supporting his properties or whether the property was sup- 
porting him. So we must speculate about that. 

But I do want to observe by that particular project, which the Bu- 
reau of Reclamation placed in the record itself, two things : one man 
out of six had succeeded as a small-time farmer and was still living 
on his land and made good; and we can also note the pattern, that 
those men especially had acquired the additional and surrounding 
parcels of land to add to their original holdings. I assume that as 
the men who could not make good folded up, got tired or sick, or 
wanted to sell out, the one out of six who stuck it out took over their 
properties. 

And I would also like to make this comment: in this project the 
land was virtually given to them by the Federal Government. It is 
not the case that we would have in the Central Valley project, where 
of course the veteran would have to buy his land. And in that respect 
also it differs from the project in Yakima and up at Klamath Lake, 
which is public land and being given free to the veterans — land already 
worked and developed, which of course is a very different condition 
from that with which we are dealing. 

Mr. Chairman, I shall probably want to ask Mr. Stewart some more 
questions, and with your permission I would ask him to stay on, but 
we do have Mr. Hermann here, whom I have already mentioned. Mr. 
Hermann is a very busy man and has to get back to San Francisco. 
And, Mr. Hermann, we shall be glad to yield to you — Mr. Chairman, 
upon the consideration, now, that this is to be charged to the time of 
the opponents, because I think Mr. Hermann is very persuasive op- 
ponent against us. 

Senator Ecton. All right, With that understanding we shall hear 
Mr. Hermann. 

STATEMENT OF M. C. HERMANN, QUARTERMASTER-ADJUTANT, 
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS OF 
THE UNITED STATES, VETERANS MEMORIAL BUILDING, SAN 
FRANCISCO, CALIF. 

Mr. Hermann. Mr. Chairman, and particularly Senator Downey: 
I first want to express deep appreciation for the consideration shown 
us. We do have to get back-. This afternoon at 5 o'clock our plane 
leaves, and I have asked for this concession, and the Senator very 
generously consented. 

In the interests of expedience and time, I have prepared my state- 
ment, and it is so presented here. I would like the opportunity to 
read it, as it expresses the opinion and the view of the organization 
which I represent here now. 



144 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Ecton. That is very acceptable, Mr. Hermann. Proceed. 
If you will state your name. 

Mr. Hermann. My name is M. C. Hermann, and my address is 
Veterans' Memorial Building, San Francisco. I am Quartermaster- 
Adjutant of the California Department, Veterans of Foreign Wars 
of the United States. 

My department, which represents 110,000 members in organized 
veteranism, believes that to repeal the IGO-acre water limitation is 
contrary to the interests of veterans. Ever since 1944 when we first 
took a position against the Elliot rider to the rivers and harbors bill, 
we have considered the various bills that attempt to repeal this water 
limitation, and we oppose them all, including this latest one, S. 912. 
On February 23, 1947, the VFW council of administration for Cali- 
fornia passed a resolution requesting that immediate steps be taken 
to protect the rights and opportunities of veterans of World War II 
in the Central Valley project. That resolution is the authority under 
which I appear before you today representing veterans. 

Briefly there are three principal points which express the views 
and program of the California Veterans of Foreign Wars : 

1. More veterans — many more veterans — of World War II want 
farms than will get them. That is our fear and regret. We want 
the number of disappointed veterans to be as small as possible. 

2. Repeal of the 160-acre water limitation is a direct deprivation of 
opportunity for veterans to make homes on the land. As citizens 
and as veterans we are against this. 

3. We want veterans to get on farms while they are young — not 
to wait until 10 years from now, or until they are old men. We want 
Congress not only to kill repeal, but to pass simple legislation like 
it passed on Columbia Basin to authorize Government purchase of 
excess landholdings. That will make veterans' preference effective on 
all projects which benefit private lands like Central Valley, and will 
make it effective now. 

Senator Ecton. Mr. Hermann, may I make an observation : You are 
continually referring to this as a repeal of the 160-acre limitation 
law. This is not a repeal. If it were, I would not be very much in the 
mood to listen to any further testimony. I do not think the people of 
my State want a repeal. The question is : Are the people of California 
willing to make an exception to this particular project in California? 
And I think there has been false information given out throughout 
the United States that this bill is a repeal. And it applies to only 
three projects. 

Mr. Hermann. That is right. 

Senator Ecton. I do not think we should refer to it as an out- 
right repeal. 

Mr. Hermann. Well, I am willing to testify on that basis, Senator. 

Senator Ecton. O. K. 

Mr. Hermann. Let us put our statement particularly to the one, 
to the Central Valley project. 

Scum tor Ecton. Yes, I wish you would. 

Mr. Hermann. All right. 

We feel that in providing supplemental water to the large land- 
holders in California you will be providing it at Government expense, 
with Government money, to the erection of dams which will develop- 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAXD LIMITATIONS 145 

land which now remains undeveloped, and which will augment the 
property values of land that today is practically worthless. 

Now, there has been much testimony offered in this case, and I 
have read it with a great deal of interest. There seems to be a con- 
nection as to the amount of acreage that will be salvaged by this 
Central Valley project. The ultimate is 3,000,000 acres in California, 
not 500,000 acres as appears in some of the testimony that has gone 
ahead in other committee hearings. 

The contentions are made that 160 acres are not economic units. 
T will present to you here and now a pamphlet which was prepared 
t>y the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, and prepared. I believe, by 
authority that is competent, able, and honest, which indicates that 
an economic unit for figs in the Central Valley would be 60 to 80 
acres; for oranges an economic unit would be 20 to 30 acres; cotton, 
the economic unit would be 120 to 160 acres; dairying, livestock and 
poultry, alfalfa, economic unit, 80 to 120 acres: grapes and raisins, 
30 to 60 acres; grain and flax, which we heard just a few minutes ago 
required at least a section of irrigation, would only require as an 
economic unit 320 acres, and that is dry farming. I offer this to you 
to indicate that in the Central Valley the opinion is than an economic 
unit can be within the 160-acre limitations. 

Senator Ectox. That is fine. I did not want to sidetrack you on 
your prepared treatise, but I just thought, by way of explanation, we 
should not look upon this particular piece of legislation as an out-and- 
out repeal of the entire law. 

Mr. Hermaxx. We understand that, sir: and we are quite in agree- 
ment that the Central Valley is one of the main projects. We have 
other projects, and we feel very keenly that the precedents established 
in the Columbia River Basin, wherein the Government purchased the 
ground and offered it for sale to veterans, is a good precedent, and it 
could be established in the Central Valley project. 

Senator Ectox. Well, that is what we wanted to know. That is 
what we are primarily interested in. 

Mr. Hermaxx. If I may continue with my statement, let me ex- 
plain these points in detail. 

First, the veterans of World War II want farms, and more of them 
want farms than are able to get them. About 3,000 veterans filed for 
86 farms at Klamath project recently, a ratio of around 30 to 1. For 
the land opening to take place near Yakima, around 10,000 veterans 
have filed for 28 farms, a ratio of over 300 to 1. The lands on these two 
projects are public lands, on which veterans have preference by act of 
Congress. No one looking at the overwhelming evidence which is 
before our eyes can doubt that veterans qualified to farm are hungry 
for the chance to do it. Xo one can doubt that unless the Government 
does more than it is doing — more than to provide veterans' preference 
on public land — there are going to be a lot of disappointed veterans. 
We do notl>elieve in inaction at home. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, 
California Department, wants just a few disappointed veterans as 
possible. 

My second point is this : to repeal the 160-acre limitation would be 
for Congress to go in just the wrong direction — 180 degrees wrong. 
In the first stage alone of the Central Valley project there are around 
230,000 acres in excess holdings. That is enough for 2,900 farms of 80 



146 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

acres each for the families of veterans. Full development of the Cen- 
tral Valley is going to bring around 3 million acres of land under irri- 
gation. That means a chance for a lot more families to farm. The 
purpose of the water limitation, ever since 1902, has been to give them 
that chance. The effect of S. 912 is to throw that chance away. Let's 
not do it. 

Speaking for the Veterans of Foreign Wars in California, I want to 
say to Members of Congress from other States that your veterans are 
eligible for settlement on Central Valley farms, just as ours are eligible 
on reclamation projects in Washington or Colorado or Texas. A recla- 
mation project is national, not local, and the veterans of the Nation 
will benefit from each and every one of them — that is, they will benefit 
unless we kill their chances now. S. 912 is a bill to kill the veterans' 
chances, and you can't make anything else out of it, no matter how hard 
you try. 

Out in California we are getting to understand the Central Valley 
project pretty well now. On the technical side and on the side of the 
tactical maneuvers it seems a bit complicated at times, and these com- 
plications have made things easier for those people who are trying to 
take the small man's chances away from him, without his knowing it. 
We think that they have succeeded in confusing people outside Cali- 
fornia, some of them even in the Congress, into doing what we don't 
believe most of the Members of the Congress want to do. We have 
found by watching the tactics of the land monopolists, that outright 
repeal, as proposed in S. 912 isn't the only way they have of killing 
the veterans' chances in Central Valley for their own special benefit. 
They have at least three other ways, maybe more, and we think that 
the Congress ought to know them. 

Their second way, besides direct repeal of the water limitation, is 
to persuade 3^011, in the War Department civil functions bill, to appro- 
priate money for the Army engineers to build dams in Central Valley. 
They try to do this because they know that the Army will not enforce 
the reclamation law. Their third way is to have the State of Cali- 
fornia take over the project, for the same reason. Their fourth way 
is to employ threats, defying the Government of the United States 
to enforce the law in the hope that the Congress will yield to their 
1 hreats and repeal the law. These beneficiaries of reclamation threaten 
to use dee}) wells and powerful pumps to suck the small farmer's water 
away from his underground, and they threaten to tie up the project 
in endless and costly litigation. They decline to sign the contracts 
to repay and to comply with the laws of Congress, at the same time 
they ask for more appropriations from you. They fight the simple 
legal provision which would secure fair enforcement of a fair law, and 
work tooth and nail for repeal, asking you to believe they do it all 
for the sake of the small man. 

In these ways, and maybe in more ways that we shall discover be- 
fore we're through, they seek to secure the same ends that direct repeal 
by passage of S. 912 would give them. "There are many w^ays to skin 
a cat," and there are many ways to skin the veterans. We oppose all 
of them. 

It isn't nearly as hard to enforce the law as the land monopolists 
who are i rying to escape it want you to believe. Just attach to your 
appropriations the clause that there shall be no construction until 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 147 

those who are private beneficiaries of congressional expenditures shall 
have signed contracts agreeing to comply with, and to make repay- 
ment under the reclamation law. To require this procedure is not 
novel; Congress uses it repeatedly. It's the only businesslike proce- 
dure there is, and we believe you should use it on every appropriation 
to develop water resources in Central Valley, no matter to what agency 
you may make the appropriation. 

I could elaborate this very important point, but to conserve the 
time of this committee may I request that a brief statement made 
recently by Robert W. Pontius as a member of the postwar planning 
committee of the California VFW before a joint legislative committee 
in California, be printed immediately following my testimony. The 
San Francisco News describe that statement, which spells out the 
point I am making, as a "block-buster," because those who heard it 
knew that here was a simple, sound, and sure way to enforce the law, 
and that threats to evade will not prevail against it. We ask only 
that this Congress act upon it own best precedent for protecting public 
policy and the Treasury when spending the public's money. 

While discussing how S. 912 and the devices for evading the law 
will kill the veterans' chances, I would like to clear up a couple other 
confusions which appear to have been cultivated. One of these con- 
fusions is the statement that land subdivides "naturally" when you 
irrigate it; therefore why not repeal the law? Congress was familiar 
with that argument in 1902 and rejected it then. History and the 
census, now as then, prove that sometimes land does subdivide "nat- 
urally" and a lot of times it doesn't. Even if the land does "naturally" 
subdivide, every veteran who tries to buy a subdivided farm under 
the project without protection of the 160-acre water limitation will be 
forced to pay to the present landholder a price to include the capital- 
ized value of water improvements created, not by the investment or 
labor of the landowner, but by the appropriations of Congress. If, 
relying on what you are told about the land breaking up easily and 
"naturally," you should decide to repeal this 160-acre water limitation, 
you will be repealing the law that controls speculation as well as 
monopoly, and you will leave the veteran who purchases a farm to 
be shorn like the lamb. 

Some people think; when we talk about water limitation, that we 
are deciding only about farm opportunities. Some think — even some 
Members of Congress, I regret to say — since the opportunities to farm 
are so inadequate anyway, that they might as well yield to the pres- 
sures of special interests to support repeal. The California Depart- 
ment of the Veterans of Foreign Wars is interested in standing up 
for those veterans of World War II who want to farm, even if they 
are in a minority, and even if all our best efforts will not be enough 
to get farms for all who want them. Even that position is too narrow, 
and we take our stand on one that is broader. The 160-acre water 
limitation insures more than opportunity to farm. It assures op- 
portunity for those veterans who want to go into small business or 
who want to practice their professions in small cities and towns lo- 
cated within reclamation projects. That is another important reason 
why we are against any move to defeat enforcement of the reclamation 
law. Everybody knows that familv farms make better communities 
with better business and professional opportunities than do large, 



148 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

corporate farms. And we don't want veterans of World War II to 
have to wait for them, staking their hopes on somebody's over- 
optimistic prediction that better communities will happen just "nat- 
urally." 

Now for my third and final point, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, 
California Department, wants veterans of World War II to get their 
farms now, not 10 years from now, or when they are old men. The 
present contracts offered by r the Bureau of Reclamation in Central 
Valley allow excess landholders 10 years in which to sell, but neither 
provide them a market nor give veterans any preference. The exist- 
ing preference granted by Congress on public land remains a pretty 
empty gesture while there is so little public land on reclamation proj- 
ects. It will not be difficult to give that gesture the sincerity with 
which the Congress undoubtedly intended to make it. Nor will it 
be without precedent. We ask you simply to provide, as you did in 
the Columbia Basin Act of 1943, for Government purchase of excess 
landholdings. By so doing, you will provide for prices fair to seller 
and to farmer alike ; and, wherever lands are held in excess of the legal 
water limitation you will create areas on which qualified veterans 
will be able to exercise their preference. 

I want to say to the committee in conclusion that our position on 
this issue is not taken hastily, and bears no taint of demagoguery or 
expediency. It is founded on the highest public principle. No body 
of men is more dedicated than the Veterans of Foreign Wars to the 
principle that sound homes make a sound Nation. We recognize a 
drive against family farms in our State or Nation when we see it. 
We are not ready, under the guise of these wholesale exemptions or by 
any other subterfuge, to throw overboard the family farm. We are 
not ready — neither as citizens nor as veterans — to junk the reclamation 
law. 

Mr. Chairman, I have augmented my prepared statement with a 
statement that was prepared by a Mr. Robert Pontius, one of our 
men in California, and which was presented in Sacramento, I think,, 
to Senator Downey's committee. 

Senator Downey. That is correct. 

Mr. Hermann. I should like to append his statement to mine and 
submit it as our position in California. 

Senator Ecton\ We shall be glad to accept it, Mr. Hermann, and 
incorporate it as part of the testimony in the record. 

Mr. Hermann. This is a statement of the California Department, 
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, prepared for presenta- 
tion to the Joint Legislative Committee on Water Resources, Sacra- 
mento, Calif., February 19, 1947, by Robert W. Pontius, a member of 
the postwar planning committee of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of 
the United States : 

We are wholeheartedly in support of measures to increase the number of solidly 
based American homes. That is why we stand opposed to any attempts to tear 
down the antimonopoly provisions of the reclamation law. The motto of the 
movement for reclamation a generation ago was "Make homes on the land." With 
that we are in entire agreement. When the first attempt was made to break down 
acreage limitation at the 1905 session of the National Irrigation Congress, Judge 
Baker answered the representatives of the large landholders in these words: 

"The committee of 17 that originally planned and arranged the adoption of the 
National Irrigation Law secured its adoption and presentation to Congress solely 
and entirely upon the question that the great land monopolies would be prohibited 
from getting the benefit of it by getting the lands to be watered, and after they 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 149 

were watered by the Government to go in with large means and take up all the 
land irrigated and thereby prevent the homeseekers from getting homes. Schemes 
which would limit development for private gain must give way to larger works 
and greater general benefits. We must stand by the law, by the Government 
that is in favor of building up the home in the great arid West and making it an 
empire in itself." 

That is how Judge Baker of California answered those who would repeal the 
acreage limitation in 1905. There are many ways to defeat the law designed 
to make homes on the land, and repeal is only one of them. Another way to 
defeat the law is for the Army to build flood-control dams. Still another way 
is for the Reclamation Bureau, itself, to proceed with the construction of canals 
before the owners of land that are to receive water officially ask for the water. It 
is recognized as good business that contracts for the water must be completed 
before construction of dams or canals are begun. 

The Bureau of Reclamation has always recognized it to be the best practice to 
require execution of recordable contracts agreeing to comply with the law, in 
advance of construction. Upon more than one occasion the Congress has written 
this wise provision into law. For example, the Reclamation Extension Act of 1914 
provided that "before any contract is let or work begun for the construction or 
any reclamation project hereafter adopted, owners of private lands must be 
required to execute contracts to agree to dispose of their excess holdings." A 
similar provision was included in the Columbia Basin Act in 1943. The same 
rule should prevail in Central Valley, and is necessary if veterans and others 
are to have any substantial opportunity to make the homes in the land which the 
National Reclamation Act intended to provide them. 

The veterans' interest in compliance with acreage limitation on water extends 
to dams and other irrigation structures built by the Army engineers as well as 
by the Bureau of Reclamation. Indeed, veterans have been particularly shocked 
by the apparent willingness of high Army officers in responsible position to sac- 
rifice acreage limitation, and at the same time to sell the opportunity for their 
own veterans to make homes on the land down the river. I refer particularly 
to Pine Flat Dam, where construction is about to begin, with no contracts for 
repayment or compliance with excess-land provisions. To this situation the 
veteran can only make the most vigorous protest. We will insist, before any 
further appropriations are made, and before further construction is made under 
presently appropriated funds, that recordable contracts be executed by private 
landholding beneficiaries, agreeing to abide by the law of repayment and acreage 
limitation. 

More specifically, we recommend as follows : 

1. That all initial features of the project be completed as soon as possible ex- 
cept that no appropriations be made for or construction started on the Friant- 
Kern Canal beyond the Kaweah River until recordable contracts for disposition 
of excess lands withi nthe SJMUD are received by the Bureau. And that no 
appropriations be made for, or construction begun to continue the canal further 
southward unless the present law is fully carried out. 

2. That no further appropriations be made for, and no construction be started 
in the Kings River unless and until the beneficiary landowners, the Army engi- 
neers, and Bureau of Reclamation comply fully with the law in this respect. 

3. That if the present recommended budget of $20,000,000 now under considera- 
tion by Congress contemplates Friant-Kern Canal construction beyond the 
points mentioned above, it be reduced by this amount. 

We are convinced that when Central Valley construction is completed as I 
have indicated, it will afford full irrigation and other benefits to about 97 percent 
of all the people with in the great Central Valley. Further construction at this 
time will benefit only 2 or 3 percent of the people of the valley and these people 
have not yet officially asked for help. 

We recommend to Congress that here is a legitimate place to cut the budget. 

And may I also submit this pamphlet as the basis for our reasoning. 
Senator Ectox. Yes, we will attach that to the record. 
(The document referred to is as follows :) 

Fresno County's Principal Crops 

The figures and estimates contained in the following columns are based upon 
the assumption that the grower intends to derive the total income necessary to 
support a home and family from the production of a single crop. This income 



150 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

may be augmented in various manners by supplementary production of livestock, 
poultry and dairy products, and other minor diversification activities. 

In cases where the entire income must be derived from farming enterprise, it 
is not recommended that smaller acreages than those specified as economic units 
l>o employed. The prospective purchaser or tenant is advised to inspect thoroughly 
the farm, its facilities and location, and acquaint himself with the production and 
marketing factors involved before investing substantial capital in an enterprise 
which may be strange to him. 

FIGS 

Economic unit: 60 to 80 acres 

Nearly 20,000 acres in Fresno County (approximately 50 percent of California's 
total acreage) are devoted to the growing of figs, most of which are dried before 
being marketed. Orchard prices range from $200 to $450 per acre, depending upon 
the variety (Adriatic, Calimyrna, Kadota, or Black Mission) and the factors re- 
ferred to in vineyards. Approximately 81 hours of labor per acre are required 
to perform all phases of maintenance and harvest work. Yields vary from 0.65 
ton to a reasonable maximum of 2 tons per acre dry, depending upon variety and 
good farming practices. In recent years packers have paid growers from $70 to 
$171 per ton for dried figs. 

PEACHES 

Economic unit: 30 to 40 acres 

Of a total of approximately 9,000 acres of peach orchards in Fresno County, 
about 8,000 acres are freestone, and 1,000 acres clingstone varieties. Land values 
range from $300 to $600 per acre, the same factors applying as referred to in 
vineyards. A considerable portion of the county's production is dried, the re- 
mainder being disposed of fresh, sold to canneries or fresh-frozen processors. 

From 145 to 160 hours of labor per acre are required to bring the average peach 
crop to harvest, and about 11 hours of labor per ton (fresh) are needed for 
harvest operations. The average Fresno County yield is 6 2 tons per acre of 
freestones and 7.6 tons per acre of clingstones. The reasonable maximum yield 
good farming may produce ranges from 10 to 15 tons per acre in the case of 
freestones and from 14 to 18 tons per acre in the case of clingstones. 

Peaches have brought the grower from $20 to $60 per ton for the fresh fruit in 
recent years. 

oranges 

Economic unit: 20 to 30 acres 

A considerable volume of oranges is produced in Fresno County each year, a 
major portion of the acreage being devoted to the production of navel oranges, 
which ripen and are marketed some 6 weeks in advance of the Southern California 
crop. Painstaking orchard care is necessary to successfully produce a satisfactory 
crop of high-quality fruit, and approximately 125 hours of labor per acre are 
required before harvest. Picking labor may be figured on the basis of about 10 
hours per 100 boxes of oranges picked. Fresno County orange groves produce on 
the average of 30O boxes per acre, and the reasonable maximum yield to be ex- 
pected is 500 boxes per acre. Most oranges produced in commercial quantities 
are packed and marketed through cooperative associations. Growers have re- 
ceived from «M) cents to $2.82 per box for oranges in recent seasons. Bearing 
groves may be purchased at prices ranging from $350 to $900 per acre. 

APRICOTS 

Ecfmomic unit: 30 to J t acres 

Virtually all apricots produced in Fresno County are either dried or fresh 
frozen. The latter method of processing is fast becoming an important factor in 
marketing apricots and other fruits and berries grown in Fresno Countv. Apricot 
orchards sell for from $250 to $400 per acre. To produce 1 ton of dried apricots, 
approximately 268 hours of labor are required of which some 120 hours is de- 
moted to preharvest work. The average Fresno County production of apricots is 
"'• ton dry, and the reasonable maximum yield is 1 ton dry. In recent years 
growers have received from $220 to $340 per ton for the dried fruit. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 151 



Economic unit: 120 to 160 acres 

Acala cotton is the only variety grown in the San Joaquin Valley. This results 
from a breeding and seed distributing program developed jointly by the farmers 
and the United States Department of Agriculture's experimental station located 
in the valley. (Acala cotton seed is distributed through a nonprofit association.) 
.This cooperative effort proved so successful the State legislature legalized it by 
restricting planting to this one variety. Heavy yields, plus a uniform, long staple 
fiber which commands a market premium, have made the growing of cotton a 
profitable enterprise in Fresno County. The average yield for the county is ap- 
proximately 1 X A bale to the acre, with 2 bales to the acre a reasonable maximum 
under favorable conditions. Cotton land may be purchased at prices ranging 
from $75 to $200 per acre, depending upon the quality of the soil and extent of 
development. About 48 hours of labor per acre are required up to the time of 
picking, and approximately 40 hours of labor are necessary to pick one bale of 
cotton. 

ALFALFA 

Economic unit: 80 to 120 acres 

Extensive dairying enterprise results in large planting of alfalfa for hay, the 
Fresno County acreage exceeding 65,000 acres. Unimproved land suitable to the 
production of alfalfa ranges in price from $75 to $150 per acre, while improved 
alfalfa ranches may be purchased at prices ranging from $150 to $300 per acre. 
On the average from 2 to 3 hours of labor per ton, principally irrigation, are re- 
quired before cutting. Mowing, shocking, bailing, and stacking alfalfa hay re- 
quires approximately 7 hours of labor per ton produced, which may be materially 
reduced by the use of mechanical equipment for windrow bailing. The average 
Fresno County yield is in excess of 4 tons per acre, and the reasonable maximum 
expectancy is from 6 to 8 tons per acre. The price for baled alfalfa hay has 
ranged from $12 to $25 per ton in recent years. 

DAIRYING. LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY 

Diversification reaches its most profitable state in the combination of dairy 
enterprise and the supplementary production of livestock and poultry. Many 
farm homes have a small dairy herd as an adjunct, together with chickens, 
turkeys and other poultry, and a nominal number of hogs, while many others 
operate primarily as dairies, with the crops produced going to feed the dairy 
herd. Poultry production as an exclusive enterprise has proven successful, par- 
ticularly adjacent to the city of Fresno and other centers of population, and for 
those persons desiring a rural home with a nominal supplementary income, 
chicken and egg production is the most popular endeavor. Among other important 
exclusive, as well as diversified, operations that account for very substantial 
revenue is the raising of beef cattle, sheep and turkeys. 

Land costs vary widely in these classifications, depending among other factors, 
upon the type of home, equipment, type of land suitable to the enterprise and 
nearness to the city. 

GRAPES AXI) RAISINS 

Economic Unit: SO to 60 Acres 

More than 175,000 acres in Fresno County are devoted to the production of 
grapes to be dried into raisins, packed fresh for refrigerated shipment throughout 
the United States, Canada, and Mexico, or crushed for conversion into wine. 
These thousands of vineyards comprise more than one-third of California's total 
vineyard acreage, and account for the largest single item of agricultural income in 
the county. 

The cost of producing vineyards ranges from $300 to $700 per acre, depending 
upon present or potential productivity, variety of grapes and time of ripening, 
location and improvements. From 60 to 100 hours of labor per acre are required 
up to the time of harvest, depending upon the variety of grapes produced. Table 
varieties require more pre-harvest labor than raisin or wine grapes. The hours of 
labor required to harvest the crop varies from 10 to 12 hours per ton in the case 



152 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

of fresh grapes to 40 to 45 hours per ton in the case of raisins. Fresno County's 
average yield is slightly over 1% tons per acre of raisins or 5% tons of fresh 
raisin variety grapes, and the reasonable maximum yield good farming may pro- 
duce is 2 tons dried or 8 tons fresh. The average yield for fresh table grapes is 
5 tons per acre and for wine grapes 4 tons per acre. Both table and wine grapes 
may yield a reasonable maximum of 2 tons of grapes per acre over the average 
on well-located and well-formed vineyards. Recent ranges in farm prices have 
been $80 to $110 per ton for raisins and $25 to $60 per ton for fresh grapes. 

GRAIN AND FLAX 

Economic Unit: 320 Acres 

Land costs for the production of these crops varies from $25 to $150 per acre, 
depending upon soil quality, location and irrigation development. Irrigated lands 
in Fresno County produce on the average about 1% tons to the acre in the case of 
wheat and barley, and over a period of several years flax has yielded an average 
of 17 bushels per acre. A very large acreage of grain is dry farmed each year 
and, when climatic condiitons are favorable, provides an excellent return on the 
investment. Flax, a comparatively new but highly important crop in Fresno 
County, has proven itself productive and profitable over a several years period, 
and a total of over 100,000 acres are devoted to its production. 

Mr. Hermann. And I do want to thank you again, Senator Downey. 

Senator Downey. Very happy to. 

Mr. Hermann. We appreciate it. 

Senator Ecton. Are there any questions you want to ask Mr. Her- 
mann while he is here, Senator? 

Senator Downey. Well, I was interested in one thing Mr. Hermann 
has said. I have thought about it a lot, Mr. Hermann. 

Do you think we should try to develop some kind of plan in Cali- 
fornia, or in the United States, for either the Federal or State gov- 
ernment to advance the money to buy some of these larger holdings and 
subdivide them ? 

Mr. Herman. I do, Senator, because particularly in our own State, 
Senator, you know that in 1941, California had a population of 6% 
millions of people, and you know what it is today. Now, those people 
are coming into California by the hundreds. We have an influx in 
California, I forget — I have been given to understand — of over 300 
every week over the departures. It indicates that the trend is, "Go 
west, young man. Go west." And they are going west. 

It is my contention and it is my organization's contention that Cali- 
fornia is not geared industrially to handle the tremendous augmenta- 
tion of population which has come upon us. We also find that many 
of the people that are coming to California to live are legitimately 
trained farmers; and we feel that this activity, while it is in Cali- 
fornia, will affect materially many, many people other than the Cali- 
fornians, who might migrate into the State. 

I might also point to you, Senator Downey, and say that I know you 
are familiar with the community opportunities in the community farm 
centers as compared to the corporate centers: the opportunities for 
businessmen to go into the small farming centers such as Merced, Mo- 
desto, Fresno, down through the Central Valley. The opportunities 
are good for the professional man, for the doctor, for the lawyer, for 
the dentist, for the groceryman, for the feed and grain man, and all the 
way down the line, the hardware man. The opportunities in the small 
farm centers are tremendously greater than those that are provided 
for in the corporate towns. 

Senator Ecton. Do you find an expressed interest on the part of 
veterans in becoming established on land, Mr. Hermann? 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 153 

Mr. Hermann. That is not only expressed, but it is proven now 
statistically ; we have so many more that have applied for farms than 
were able to get them. 

Senator Ectox. Do they have means of their own or ways in which 
they can be financed, to take care of that end of it ? 

Mr. Hermann. They have the provisions of the GI bill to fall back 
on. We have that Foreign Veteran program in the State of California 
to assist veterans on farms. We have the Veterans Home and Farm 
Act which allows a veteran to borrow up to $12,500 to start himself on 
a farm. 

Senator Ectox. That is under the State? 

Mr. Hermann. Under the State set-up; that is correct, sir. 

Senator Ectox. And that supplements the rights under the GI bill 
of rights? 

Mr. Hermann. That is right, Senator. 

Senator Ectox. That gives him $16,000? 

Mr. Hermann. That is supplemental. Yes, sir. That is his right as 
a California veteran. 

Senator Ectox. You say under the California law he can get 
$12,000. Is that on his own signature, or does it work like the Gov- 
ernment loans, somebody has to go his note ? 

Mr. Hermann. Xobody goes any note on a California loan. 

Senator Ectox. I want to make this observation, because 
I have helped a few veterans myself, and they had a good proposition, 
but they could not get a cent until I or somebody else went on their 
note with them. 

Mr. Hermann. The California Veterans' Commission is a law unto 
itself in the extension of loans to veterans in California, both for homes 
and farms. A prior investigation is made on a man's credit rating, 
his ability to pay, and if he is found in the opinion of the board to be 
a good risk there are no co-signers necessary under the State law. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, right in connection with this I 
think it might be appropriate for me to place in the record a letter 
from the State of California, Department of Veterans' Affairs, divi- 
sion of farm and home purchases, dated April 15, 1917, addressed 
to me: 

Dear Senator Downey : This is in reply to your letter of April 9. 

While we estimate that from 3,500 to 4,000 of the approximate 87,000 applicants 
who have established eligibility, will be interested ultimately in purchasing farms, 
at present there is no sizeable backlog of farm applications under consideration. 

Under our procedure a veteran establishes eligibility as a California veteran, 
and is given a certificate of eligibility. There is no time limit within which a 
veteran must make use of this certificate, and, therefore, the large majority of 
qualified veterans are deferring the purchase of either homes or farms until the 
real estate market has become stabilized. 

Farm prices in California are high, as you know, and the limitations of the Farm 
and Home Purchase Act make it difficult to acquire suitable farms. The maximum 
purchase price that the Department can pay for a farm is $13,500, and the maxi- 
mum value of a property that can be approved for purchase is $15,000. We are 
required, therefore, to approve only such properties as may come within these 
maximums, which, in our opinion, are suitable for purchase and will produce 
revenues sufficient to meet the living requirements of the veteran and liquidate 
the debt service. 

At the present time there are less than a dozen applications being processed, and 
the average number purchased per month is from three to four. It is doubtful if 
there will be any possibility of purchases on a volume basis until the prices of 
farm lands are substantially reduced. 



154 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Ecton. Well, Senator, there are so many ifs and ands and 
buts about all these things that most of the veterans that I have talked 
to feel that in the end they have had nothing but the run around. 

Mr. Hermann. Well, Mr. Chairman 

Senator Downey. Well, I agree with that. If I may say this, I think 
it certainly has been a sad and tragic condition for veterans that come 
back here unable to buy homes. In rent perhaps they pay a hundred 
percent more than the accommodations are worth. And likewise I 
think it is most unfortunate for anybody who wants to become a 
farmer — whether he is or isn't a veteran — at such inflated prices that 
probably nothing but disaster would lie ahead. 

Most of the families in the Central Valley — and there are thousands 
of them now on the land — are veterans themselves, and nearly every 
farm family down there did send some boy to war who has returned. 

Mr. Hermann. That is right. 

Senator Downey. I mean the population is very much mixed. The 
Central Valley sent a tremendous number of youn men into war serv- 
ice, and they are returning and are going on their parents' farms. 

Mr. Hermann. I might say, Senator Downey, that the writer of that 
letter, I believe, was Larry Stevens. Wasn't it Larry Stevens? 

Senator Downey. Let me see. No, it is not. J. Marvin Kussell, 
division of farm and home purchases. 

Mr. Hermann. He is the manager. Larry Stevens is the director. 
They are very interested in and cognizant of the condition of the land 
market in California, and that is the contention that we make, sir, 
that if these large landholdings were decentralized under the provi- 
sions of the reclamation act whereby supplemental water would be 
provided them if they would sign contracts with the Reclamation 
Bureau to decentralize in 10 years, then there would not be that 
inflated value of farm land. There is very little available land in 
California under cultivation today that is for sale. 

Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Hermann, your Los Angeles County 
tracts are in the average of only 20 or 30 acres apiece. Lands are far 
higher even in Los Angeles County than in the Central Valley. 

Mr. Hermann. Why, of course, because anything in Los Angeles 
County, sir, and I say this respectfully, is residential property. 

Senator Downey. All right. Well, let us pass Los Angeles if you 
want to. The same thing is true 

[Laughter.] 

Senator Downey. The same thing is true of San Diego. 

Mr. Hermann. I don't mean that facetiously. 

Senator Downey. Well, it is true of the whole State, that we have 
inflated prices. So, now, Mr. Hermann, reason with me a moment. 
A.8 you know, in California, I have been generally considered a lib- 
eral . Lots of people have condemned me because they thought I was 
too liberal, but I have never been considered the supporter of en- 
trenched interests. 

Mr. Hermann. We know that, sir. 

Senator Downey. Yes, sir. Thank you. 

Well, now follow this along with me for a moment, I practiced 
law in the heart of the agricultural region of the Sacramento Valley, 
at Sacramento, and during that period of time I certainly repre- 
sented hundreds, and perhaps over the long period thousands, of 
farmers, and I believe I know something about it. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 155 

Now, Mr. Chairman, frankly, this will sound like propaganda such 
as is given out : I cannot recall a single person who took an unleveled 
piece of raw land and started out and came through and made a success. 
Most of them blew up because they didn't have enough money, or 
their patience wore out, or they didn't have the ability. And we 
observed that condition on one farm after another. Among certain 
of our foreign groups, the Japanese, for instance, I saw some of them 
take the worst kind of land and come through with garden spots. I 
saw certain of the Portuguese, who were very industrious and very 
able, do it. Occasionally in those foreign groups I saw it done, but 
almost never otherwise, and I am not expressing anything that every 
person familiar with agriculture in California, so far as I know, 
wouldn't say : that the first man goes on and maybe puts in three or 
four or five thousand dollars and a year of labor, and he blows up. 
The second man comes along. Now, maybe the third man comes along 
and building on their losses has made a success. 

Most of the farmers that I know that became successfully established 
generally did it by buying farms after a depression, when they could 
buy a farm at a half or a third what it cost over the years to develop. 
We had two veterans' colonization projects in California, both of 
which, blew up with a terrible bang and left scars and suffering and 
insolvency behind — the very thing that you and I are here talking 
about. I would like to see veterans given an opportunity to farm if 
it could be done, but I do not know how to do it. 

Mr. Hermann. Senator, you cannot make a silk purse out of a 
sow'? ear. You cannot put veterans in localities where they have 
10 strikes against them before they ever go to bat. 

Now, I might say this, that the history of California since 1850, 
at which time it started to develop as a State, has shown that it is one 
of the highest productive States in the union, and it certainly wasn't 
brought that way by the failure of the land operators. California is 
known for its productivity. The most successful farmers in the world 
live in California, and I refer to the Kingsburg area, to the Merced 
area, where there are little 20- and 30-acre farms where the families 
are living, and they are very, very happy. 

Senator Downey. I am glad to hear you say that to the committee- 
men, because I have already said we have the most fertile and abundant 
farm economy in the world. 

Well, now, Mr. Hermann, you think aloud with me again for a 
moment. You heard the testimony of the Madera district, and I 
won't go over that. Down in the Arvin-Edison district there are 
much larger holdings, and the holding down there that has created 
the most criticism and comment has been the DiGiorgio holding of 
about 8,000 acres of developed land. 
Mr. Hermann. That is right, sir. 

Senator Downey. Mr. DiGiorgio, I am advised upon very good 
authority, refused $2,200 an acre for that land. Now, the agricultural 
authorities, men of the University of California who look at this situ- 
ation objectively, tell me that if you break up that parcel that was 
built as a unit, vou would lose half its value. 



156 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Now, I have responsibility here. 

Mr. Hermann. That is right. 

Senator Downey. How, Mr. Hermann, would you say to me — 
and if you can help me I will bless you — is there any way of taking 
that DiGiorgio tract, or breaking it up and getting veterans on it? 
How would you do it? 

Mr. Hermann. Well, Sheridan — Mr. Downey 

Senator Downey. Call me. Sheridan; that's all right. [Laughter.] 

Mr. Hermann. At no time are we trying to compel decentralization. 
If the owners of the DiGiorgio tract do not care to decentralize, that 
is their prerogative. Nobody is trying to compel condemnation pro- 
ceedings to make the larger landholder decentralize his holdings. But 
we do say this : That if the Government of the United States is going 
to spend millions of dollars in reclamation and in conservation of 
water, that supplemental water that goes to those large landholders 
should be paid for, and it should be paid for in a way that will allow 
others to benefit by the water decentralization. 

Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Hermann, I agree with that, and that 
is one of the reasons I am interested in this. I am afraid that the 
Bureau of Reclamation would place the whole project in a position 
where the excess landowner might escape payment. Certainly— — 

Mr. Hermann. That is why we vigorously object, Senator, to the 
Army and Navy constructing the dams such as up in the Kern Valley 
there. We do not want the Army and Navy to do it because we know 
the procrastination of the Army and the Navy, and we know how the 
Bureau of Keclamation will be retarded in the enforcement of the 
law. And that is why we say : Build those dams, conserve the water, 
make Central Valley the biggest project in the world, but control it 
and give the benefits to more people than just a handful and just a 
few. You know the landholdings in Kern County. I do not have to 
tell them to you, Senator. You know them. They tell you down 
there they make a living on 160 acres in potatoes, in Kern County. 
It has been proven that 160 acres in fertile potato ground is very, 
very lucrative. On some you get about 

Senator Downey. There is no doubt about that, Mr. Hermann. 

Well, I have no further questions. And, Mr. Hermann, I am very 
much obliged to you for your courtesy. 

Mr. Hermann. And I certainly thank you. 

Senator Downey. Yes, sir. 

Senator Ecton. Thank you, Mr. Hermann. 

(Mr. Hermann withdrew from the committee table.) 

Senator Ecton. Who is the next witness ? 

Mr. Hermann. I do want to thank you very much for your courtesy, 
and thank you, Senator. 

Senator Ecton. Yes, sir. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman. I am going to depart from the 
program that I thought I would follow, of putting in certain corre- 
spondence between the Madera and the Bureau of Reclamation. I 
will put that in perhaps tomorrow morning. Certain of our wit- 
nesses are anxious to get away, and I shall now put them on. 

Mr. Deuel, would you please come forward and testify, stating your 
name and official position and experience, and so on? 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 157 

STATEMENT OF J. J. DEUEL, DIRECTOR, PUBLIC UTILITIES DEPART- 
MENT, CALIFORNIA FARM BUREAU, KERN COUNTY, CALIF. 

Mr. Deuel. Mr. Chairman, in addition to reading this statement I 

want the privilege of referring to the long map that Mr. Hyatt had 

up there yesterday, and explaining some of the problems as I see them. 

. as a long-time farmer and a farm representative in the Central Valley. 

Senator Ectox. Go right ahead and proceed. 

Mr. Deuel. My name is J. J. Deuel. I am a farmer from Kern 
County, Calif. I am director of the public utilities department of 
the California Farm Bureau Federation and have been since it was 
organized in 1920. The California Farm Bureau Federation is a 
voluntary organization composed of 47 county farm bureaus with a 
membership of over 45,000 farm families at the present time ; and if 
new members continue to come in as at the present rate, it will close 
this fiscal year with over 47,000 members. Farm Bureau membership 
is on a family basis. 

The California Farm Bureau Federation took an active part in 
promoting the studies that resulted in what is now known as the Cen- 
tral Valley water project. It assisted in securing the first appropria- 
tion of $200,000 from the California Legislature in 1921 to be used 
by the State engineer in making surveys and studies, and has con- 
tinued to actively support this important project ever since. 

I would like to digress at this time to say that you heard Professor 
Harding testify yesterday that in 1920 to 1923 he made the studies 
that resulted in the presentation of Bulletin Xo. 9. I was chairman 
of a committee of 25 farmers who solicited the money and paid the 
State for doing that work. I just state this to show my interest and 
connection over a long period of years. 

We are anxious to see this most valuable project brought to success- 
ful completion and its benefits made available for use at an early date, 
and for that reason are strongly in favor of this measure to remove 
the acreage-limitation provisions of the Reclamation Act from ap- 
plication to the Central Valley project. 

The California Farm Bureau Federation and the Irrigation Dis- 
tricts Association of California, by far the largest organizations of 
actual farmers in this State, did in November 1943. express their views 
on this matter by resolutions, and have both reaffirmed the position 
taken at that time at each annual meeting of members since. 

I shall now read the Farm Bureau resolution : 

The Central Valley project was conceived and its construction authorized by 
Congress on the basis of need for the improvement of irrigation in the State 
of California, the restoration of navigation, the control of floods, the control 
of salinity encroachment, and secondly, the generation of electrical energy. 

As most agricultural land in the great valleys of California is already highly 
developed under a system of irrigation, the waters to be supplied from the project 
are primarily water for supplemental irrigation only, the replenishment of 
diminishing available surface and underground water resources and the distribu- 
tion of augmented supplies to areas of need. Many vested water rights exist in 
the streams affected and many irrigators depend upon privately developed sources 
of water. 

It is, therefore, the position of California Farm Bureau Federation that the 
Bureau of Reclamation in supplying water for irrigation purposes in California 
should not. as a condition or prerequisite to such use. attempt to enforce or be 
authorized to enforce any acreage restrictions or excess land limitations. 

62453—47 11 



158 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

In our considered opinion, the attempted enforcement of any acreage restriction 
or excess land limitation in connection with this project will be buidensome, 
economically unsound from the standpoint of production and individual liveli- 
hood and will be confiscatory of many existing land and water rights. 

We, therefore, go on record as endorsing and sponsoring such legislation or 
other action as may be necessary in the immediate future to prevent the imposi- 
tion of acreage restrictions or excess land limitations in connection with the 
operation of the Central Valley Project. 

The above resolution is a true and correct copy of a "resolution unanimously 
adopted at the annual membership meeting of California Farm Bureau Federa- 
tion at Santa Cruz, Calif., on the 18th day of November, 1943. 

Bert L. Smith, 
Secretary-Treasurer, Berkeley, Calif. 

The Irrigation Districts Association resolution is as follows : 

Whereas, it is the opinion of the Irrigation Districts Association of California 
that the provision in the reclamation law limiting the use of project water to irri- 
gate the land of any one owner to 160 acres is not practicable and will disturb 
the agricultural economy of the Central Valley project if enforced in carrying out 
the operations of said project under the said law and limitation ; Therefore, be it 
hereby 

Resolved, that the Congress of the United States be requested to amend the 
said law to the effect that the 160-acre limitation in the operation, and adminis- 
tration of the Central Valley project be waived ; and be it further 

Resolved, that copies of this resolution be sent to the Congress of the United 
States, to each member of the Congress from California, to H. Ickes, Secretary 
of the Interior, H. Bashore, Commissioner of Reclamation, to Dr. H. Barrows, 
consulting economist of the United States Bureau of Reclamation, to Mr. Carey, 
regional director of the United States Bureau of Reclamation, to Mr. George 
Howson, coordinator of CVP study problems at Sacramento, and to members of 
CVP Problem Committee No. 19 who are considering this question. 

The above is a true and correct copy of resolution unanimously adopted by the 
Irrigation Districts Association of California in convention assembled in San 
.lose, Calif., this 18th day of November, 1943. 

W. D. Wagner, 
Executive Secretary, San Francisco. 

We realize that some Farm Bureau members do not agree with this 
policy as a result of being subjected to continuous propaganda by 
the Bureau of Reclamation, which has spent much time and money 
during the past 3 years in support of the theory of land limita- 
tion as now contained in the reclamation law and telling groups that 
have projects they want undertaken that the Bureau will not touch 
them if acreage limitation is removed, but our position is supported 
by the vast majority of our membership, which has increased more 
than 50 percent since this policy was adopted. 

We find no fault with the existing provisions of reclamation law 
where conditions exist to which they were intended to apply, such 
as the initial development of large tracts of public land. We also 
recognize that there are strong arguments in favor of antispecula- 
tion regulations where applied to new lands which receive their 
entire water supply from the project. Owners of large semiarid land 
areas would benefit tremendously by the increase in land values due 
to the project, and some control might be desirable. On the other 
hand, there is ample precedent for the nonapplicability of "excess 
land regulations" in connection with lands already under cultiva- 
i ion, and and which receive only a supplemental supply of water from 
the project, such as will be the case in the Central Valley project. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 159 

Precedents for qualified or total exemption include the Colorado- 
Big Thompson project, Truckee storage project, Humboldt storage 
project, and possibly also the Boulder Canyon project. From a study 
of this subject, it appears that excess land provisions are generally 
difficult to enforce and that on a number of projects no enforcement 
has been attempted. 

. There are no Federal public lands to be served by the Central Valley 
project, and the project is concerned only to a moderate degree in 
opening up new lands to reclamation and settlement. The following, 
relating to the Colorado-Big Thompson project, applies in large 
measure to the Central Valley project : 

The Colorado-Big Thompson project was specifically exempted under the Act 
of June 16, 1938 (52 Stat. 764) which provides : 

"That the excess-land provisions of the Federal Reclamation laws shall not 
be applicable to lands which now have an irrigation water supply from sources 
other than a Federal Reclamation project and which will receive a supple- 
mental supply from the Colorado-Big Thompson project." 

The Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation of the Senate (75th Cong., 3d 
Sess., Rept. No. 1921) stated : 

"The Federal reclamation laws, as originally adopted, were for the purpose of 
supplying unused water to undeveloped public lands. In order to make provision 
for as large a number of settlers under projects as would be economically feasible, 
and to prevent individuals from acquiring more than a fair share of the land to 
be reclaimed, the Congress limited the amount of land which could be owned by 
one individual and supplied with water from the reclamation project to 160 
acres. This provision was entirely appropriate to conditions to which it was 
intended to be applied. 

"The situation under the Colorado-Big Thompson project, the only one in- 
volved in the present bill, is quite different from that of the earlier reclamation 
projects. The Colorado-Big Thompson project does not bring under cultivation 
new land. It is intended to furnish a supplemental supply of water to an already 
highly developed area of agricultural lands. These lands are now in private 
ownership and irrigated by numerous existing irrigation ditches. Due to various 
factors, such as more intensive cultivation, drought, and increased consumption 
of water by other systems, the water supply for this large area, amounting to 
615,000 acres, is inadequate in many seasons to insure the maturing of crops. 
This project will supply the necessary additional water to make certain the har- 
vests which are now uncertain. Congress, in authorizing the making of appro- 
priations for this project, inserted a condition not imposed upon other reclamation 
projects. The law requires that before construction of this project is commenced, 
contracts satisfactory to the Secretary of the Interior shall be made with the 
prospective users of the water which will insure the repayment of the total cost 
of the irrigation features of the project. Such a provision, of course, could not 
be included in a project which was intended to open land to settlers who could 
not come upon the land until the project was completed." 

Might I digress to say there that one thing that I regret, at least, 
and many others in California do, is that this question was not raised 
at the time this project was commenced, and then I think it could have 
been more satisfactorily settled. 

I continue reading: 

"By reason of the normal farming development in such a large area, there are 
many individuals owning and cultivating in excess of 160 acres of land. In 
order that the contracts for repayments of the cost shall be provided as required 
by law it is necessary that these farmers with tracts in excess of 160 acres shall 
become parties to the contract and purchasers of the water. As stated above, 
this project deals with an existing situation. This bill, S. 4027, amends the pro- 
visions of the Federal reclamation law by exempting the lands under the Colorado- 
Big Thompson project from the 160-acre limitation. 

"This bill has been approved by the Commissioner of Reclamation and the 
Interior Department." 



160 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Similar statements could be included covering the Truckee and 
Humboldt storage projects, both of which were exempt from the acre- 
age limitation provisions of the reclamation law, exemption having 
been recommended by Government engineers. In the contract be- 
tween the United States and the Imperial irrigation district involving 
water distributed under the Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928 (45 
Stat. 1057) through the All- American Canal, no attempt was made to 
require acreage limitation ; and due to provisions of California State 
Jaw under which the irrigation district is formed, a contract contain- 
ing acreage limitation provisions could not have been signed by the 
district without the consent of every landowner in the district. 

The issue here is not one of large farms versus small farms, as those 
who so strongly support the policy of acreage limitation contend, but 
one of meeting and dealing with an actual condition in which the acre- 
age limitations of the reclamation law cannot be applied, either legally 
or practically, and if the Reclamation Bureau should succeed in its 
avowed purpose to apply acreage limitation in the Central Valley 
project, its benefits will not be fully enjoyed and the Government 
cannot expect ever to get its money back. 

A large part of the present irrigation water supply within the boun- 
daries of the Central Valley project is obtained by pumping from 
ground water. A major purpose of the project is to raise the ground 
water level so as to reduce pumping lifts and to provide additional 
water for land not now irrigated, by putting water into the under- 
ground reservoirs by use of natural stream channels and special spread- 
ing grounds, as well as from the canals and from surface irrigation. 
When it reaches the ground water, the added water will follow the un- 
derground drainage toward the center of the valley. It may be pumped 
out and used at any point en route. Water placed underground on one 
man's land may be removed for use on some other land. When water 
has reached the ground- water supply, owners of all overlying land have 
an equal right to pump it out. Their rights have been firmly estab- 
lished by the California courts, and only by consent could acreage 
limitation be applied. 

The major portion of the land within the area covered by the Central 
Valley project has long since been under cultivation, and irrigated with 
gravity water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and other 
si roams flowing into the project area. This land is all in private own- 
ership in tracts of various sizes, both large and small, which are irri- 
gated with water to which the owners have rights established many 
years ago, either as riparian or by appropriation secured by the own- 
ers under California water law, and constitute valuable property. 
The water is distributed through irrigation systems constructed by the 
land owners at their own expense and suited to the tracts of land as 
(hey now exist. Any attempt to try to compel these landowners to 
reduce their holdings to 160 acres or less, subject to the whims of the 
Secretary of the Interior, would constitute a violation of property 
rights that cannot be justified, and require an adjustment of irriga- 
tion distribution systems at an enormous financial cost and waste of 
man power and material. 

What is now called the Central Valley project was promoted and in- 
tended primarily to provide a supplemental water supply needed to 
maintain the ground water level under land devloped by pump irriga- 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 161 

tion, and to increase the efficiency of gravity water from streams that 
fail to supply all the water needed during the entire irrigation season, 
a use that would protect and maintain much valuable property which 
otherwise will ultimately be destroyed due to an insufficient supply of 
irrigation water for the total acreage to which it is being applied. 

At no time in the past were the owners of this land informed by any 
governmental agency that an acreage limitation was probable or would 
be attempted. On the contrary, when this became a reclamation proj- 
ect and those of us who were familiar with reclamation law raised 
the question of acreage limitation, we were assured that there was no 
need to worry. 

And at that point I would like to digress enough to say that in a 
report made by my assistant, Mr. Fappenberger, to our membership 
meeting in San Diego in 1939, we offered them this advice : 

Congress in appropriating funds for construction of the project has insisted 
upon the condition that the project be constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation 
of the Department of the Interior and that it be controlled by the Federal Govern- 
ment pending repayment. In accordance with reclamation law, there is som§ 
concern that under continued Federal control, regulation will be imposed by 
the Bureau of Reclamation, under reclamation law, whereby the farm units for 
which water is applied for will be limited to 160 irrigable acres or a fraction 
thereof to which water for irrigation purposes may be made available. In 
addition to improvement requirements, stringent provisions relative to the sale 
of excess lands, and penalties invoked for noncompliance, such concern, in my 
opinion, is justified. 

I only quote that to show you that we raised this question early. 

The Governor of the State of California was the guest speaker at 
this membership meeting, and in opposition to this advice which my 
assistant gave at that time, he pointed out section 17 of the then exist- 
ing contract between the Bureau of Reclamation and the water project 
authority of the State of California, which makes no mention whatever 
of any land limitation or any of those provisions. That contract was 
renewed three times and then thereafter was discontinued. Of course 
it was an interim contract, and. like those that are now in force, no 
provision is in either of them for acreage limitations. 

Senator Ecton. But at that time, there was nothing brought up to 
indicate that you expected these people who owned any land in excess of 
160 acres to get their water any cheaper or to get any special benefits 
over the person that owned only 160 acres, were there, Mr. Deuel? 

Mr. Deuel. No ; there was nothing brought up, and it was not until 
1943 that we had any definite statements from any representative of the 
Bureau of Reclamation as to what they might be expected to do. I 
will develop that a little further. 

Senator Ecton. Proceed. 

Mr. Deuel. At no time in the past were the owners of this land 
informed by any governmental agency that an acreage limitation 
policy was probable or would be attempted. On the contrary, when 
this became a reclamation project and those of us who were familiar 
with reclamation law raised the question of acreage limitation, we were 
assured that there was no need to worry. In fact, in one case in Octo- 
ber 1943, the Reclamation Bureau accepted a contribution of $25,000 
from a group of landowners to help finance a survey looking toward 
inclusion of their land in the project, knowing at the time this money 
was accepted that it came from individuals owning from 640 to several 



162 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

thousand acres each. In the negotiations no mention was ever made 
of the acreage limitation provisions. 

As Ave view the present situation, there are strong arguments m 
favor of antispeculation regulations or land-limitation provisions 
where applied to new lands which receive their entire water supply 
from a project developed by the Government at its expense on public 
lands. On the other hand, there is ample justification and precedent 
for the nonapplicabilitv of excess-land regulations in connection with 
lands already under cultivation and which receive only a supplemen- 
tal supply of water from the projects. 

Precedents for qualified or total exemptions include the Colorado- 
Big Thompson, Truckee storage project, Humboldt storage project, 
Pine River project, Imperial Valley irrigation district under Boulder 
Canyon project, and a contract recently entered into between the 
United States and the Southern San Joaquin Municipal Utility Dis- 
i rict, a district located within the Central Valley project area. 

Referring to the contract last referred to above, Commissioner 
Straus, in a letted dated March 28, 1946, said : 

The San Joaquin contract is a definite departure from the administrative 
provisions relating to excess lands and incremental value policy contained in 
a majority of existing repayment contracts in at least these three respects: 

(a) There is no provision that excess lands shall be subjected to recordable 
contracts as a condition precedent to the delivery of project water for non- 
excess lands. 

(ft) The owner of excess land has a 10-year period in which to dispose of his 
excess land before conferring power of attorney on the Secretary of the In- 
terior to dispose of them. 

(c) Furthermore, provision to carry out the so-called incremental value 
policy pertaining to nonexcess lands has not been included. 

Continuing his discussion of the modified provisions contained in 
the San Joaquin contract, Mr. Straus said : 

The Central Valley of California involves a number of conditions and cir- 
cumstances that do not prevail generally, i. e., existing water rights, intensive 
cultivation, and stability of land value, which afford a sound basis for adoption 
of the type of excess-land provision contained is the San Joaquin contract. 

So that members of this committee may know the type of territory 
under consideration and the extent to which it is now developed, I 
call attention to the 1945 census of agriculture, which shows that 
among the first 10 counties in the United States, as far as value of farm 
products is concerned, 8 are in California ; 5 of the 8 are located in the 
Central Valley project area ; and 3 out of the top 5 in the Nation will 
be served by the Friant-Kern Canal. Such production does not result 
from arbitrary control and regimentation. 

I am sure there will be few who do not concede that the amount 
of land that a man may need for an economic farm unit depends from 
year to year and from time to time upon current conditions and not 
upon any arbitrary acreage that may be fixed by Congress or by the 
Secretary of the Interior. Farming conditions' change from time to 
time and what an acre of land will produce depends upon what the 
land is devoted to, what the appropriate crop may be, and that in turn 
depends upon the advancement made in farm machinery. It depends 
upon the methods of handling particular crops. It depends upon 
the demand for those particular crops. Crops have to be rotated. 
We all know that many crops cannot be grown continuously year after 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 163 

year and that with changing conditions, economic, mechanical, and 
cultural, no hard and fast rule can produce satisfactory results. 

We have been charged with having waited too long to complain. 80 
far as I am concerned that charge is without merit. As soon as this 
project was reauthorized as a reclamation project in 1937, 1 raised the 
question of land-limitation provisions with officials of the Reclamation 
Bureau and my own organization. I presented the possible difficul- 
ties as I saw them to the annual membership meeting of farm bureau in 
1939. It was difficult for our members to believe that any govern- 
mental agency would even consider interfering with private land and 
water rights. First official action was taken by farm bureau at 
the annual membership meeting in 1940. Shortly after that, I was 
assured by the Commissioner of Reclamation that the matter was being 
given careful consideration, but any legislative action — and at that 
time he had reference to the study being made by Mr. King, the 
attorney of the bureau which was later completed. But any legis- 
lative action was not desirable as it might interfere with appropria- 
tions. All during the 2 years following, I pressed for the answer 
without success. Finally a new regional director, Mr. Carey, showed 
up, and he informed a meeting of our board of directors in no uncer- 
tain terms that the project would primarily be a power project and 
that the land-limitation provisions would apply to all who got project 
water. Following that meeting, a joint committee, of which I was a 
member, representing the Irrigation Districts Association of Cali- 
fornia. California Central Valleys Flood Control Association, Flood 
Control Association of the lower San Joaquin River and its tribu- 
taries, and the California Farm Bureau Federation, prepared a sum- 
mary of arguments for legislation exempting the Central Valley 
project from the application of the excess break-up land provisions of 
Federal reclamation. law, which summary has been attached to this 
statement as exhibit A. 

Application of the land-limitation provisions to this project concerns 
me very much for several reasons. 

First, there are no Federal public lands to be served by the Central 
Valley project, and the project is concerned only to a moderate degree 
in bringing new land into production, for practically all of the water 
to be made available by the project as now authorized will be required 
to supplement the water now used on present cultivated acres from 
cavity flow or pumping from underground sources. * 

I would like to digress there to state that I think that one of the 
most serious things that could befall us would be if the water was 
applied to any new land, because the total of water to be recovered by 
the exchange of Sacramenta for San Joaquin water is no more than 
sufficient to make whole the gravity flow throughout the district that 
will be served plus the overdraft on the underground water. So that 
to add new acres to that would simply intensify the condition that 
we are trying to get rid of. 

Continuing with my statement : 

Second, I knew that no irrigation district already organized or to 
be organized under California law could legally accept the obligations 
of a contract with the bureau that contained such a provision, and 
without such.contracts benefits of the projects would not be available. 



164 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Third, I knew that owners of excess lands would stay out of any 
district and continue to irrigate their lands by pumping, failing to 
pay any part of the cost, which would increase the burden on small 
landowners to an impossible amount. And that is one of the serious 
tilings, where the little fellow is going to pay for the big fellow. 

Senator Ecton. Let me ask you there. 

Mr. Deuel. Yes, sir. 

Senator Ectox. Is it possible for these larger landowners to stay 
out of the project or to stay out of the district if they desire ? 

Mr. Deuel. It is. And if the map is available that I said I wanted 
to refer to afterwards, I will point out several of those situations. 

Senator Ecton. Are all of them ? Is it possible for all of them who 
own more than 160 acres at the present time to stay out of. the project? 

Mr. Deuel. Yes. We cannot, under California law, put them into 
one of these districts and assess them without giving them their pro 
rata share of the water. Now, if we do not give them the pro rata 
share of the water, then you cannot force them into the district. 

Senator Ectox. But at the same time they would be benefited by 
the ground water flow which you speak of ? 

Mr. Deuel. That is true. And that is what I want to use the map 
for. I want to try to make that clearer than I think it has been 
made yet. 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead. 

Mr. Deuel. Fourth, it would be difficult, if not impossible, of en- 
forcement, and if a sincere effort were to be made to exact compliance 
the result would be constant turmoil in the administration of irriga- 
tion district affairs. 

Fifth, it would result in endless and costly litigation. That is the 
main reason Farm Bureau is supporting this bill. 

And now, Mr. Chairman, I should like to read a summary of argu- 
ments for legislation exempting the Central Valley project from the 
application of the excess-land provisions of Federal reclamation laws. 

Senator Ectox. You may proceed. 

Mr. Deuel. Thank you. [Reading :] 

The Central Valley project is not fundamentally a reclamation project within 
the meaning of Federal reclamation laws, as reclamation relates to a reclaim- 
ing of arid public lands by the erection of project works to supply water for 
irrigation. It is, therefore, apparent that most or many of the policies and 
provisions relating to Federal reclamation projects there do not apply to the 
Central Valley project. 

2. The Federal reclamation laws, first adopted in 1902, were designed to effectu- 
ate the reclamation of arid lands of the United States. Pursuant to the policy 
of making public lands available to the largest number of settlers consistent 
with sound economic practice, there were inserted in the law acreage limitation 
provisions which would limit the size of farms receiving project water to not 
more than 160 acres, or such lesser numbers of acres as the Secretary of the 
Interior in his discretion should determine to be a family-size farm. Perhaps 
the principle reason for land limitations in connection with the reclamation of 
arid public lands was to prevent land speculation due to the increment in valua- 
tion of the land because of the project works. In the Central Valley project 
there are no public lands and substantially all land within the service area has 
been developed under private ownership pursuant to State law, and increment 
in value has already taken place. 

3. The project was not designed to bring large areas of new lands into produc- 
tion, but primarily to furnish greatly needed supplemental water supplies to 
already Bettled and developed areas, largely highlv developed bv surface flow 
Irrigation under appropriated and riparian water rights, or bv pumping from 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 165 

underground waters. The imposition of excess land limitations of the Federal 
reclamation laws is not compatible with the supplying of supplemental irriga- 
tion water to lands already highly developed and improved under private owner- 
ship. Moreover, there has been a unanimity of sound legal opinion that existing 
water rights are property rights which cannot be taken except by eminent 
domain. We believe that Congress never did intend to violate these long-estab- 
lished water rights, and that Congress did not intend that its acts should be 
so abused that the owners of such long-established water rights should be forced 
either to comply with excess land provisions of the Federal reclamation laws or 
resort to long and expensive litigation to protect such water rights. 

4. The Central Valley project embraces the major part of the productive land 
in the State of California, namely, that situated in the great Sacramento Valley 
and San Joaquin Valley. In these valleys there is a vast difference in the 
character and productivity of the soil, the contours of the land, and in the types 
of farming to which the land is suitable. Many settled and developed areas 
are owned in tracts exceeding 160 acres, and are necessarily farmed in large 
units for sound economic reasons. In some areas 320 acres (even larger acre- 
ages in the case of rice) would not support a family, while in other areas of deep 
alluvial soil a farm of lesser acres may support a family. 

5. In many portions of California the cost of developing water and making 
an economic use of the land have only been possible on relatively large holdings 
with the use of modern equipment, and an established agricultural economy 
has been built up on that basis. Small tracts of farmland in many places have 
proven to be uneconomic as so-called family farms. 

6. The values of land in California and the uses to which such land is put 
have been stabilized through long years of agricultural development and prac- 
tice. Such lands have been developed by private owners under existing local, 
State and Federal laws, and the basic reasons for limiting the acreage to which 
water may be delivered, namely, "prevention of land speculation," has little or 
no application to the Central Valley project. 

7. A large portion of the cultivated lands in California within the Central 
Valley project are irrigated by pumps, such water being applied to the overlying 
lands from underground waters. Many tracts of land so supplied with water 
are in excess of 160 acres. The control of such acreages by means of contract 
for project water appears insoluble. 

8. Underground or "ground" waters and the use thereof by overlying owners 
is controlled by State law, and no overlying owner can be constrained from 
drilling wells and pumping from such underground waters for the purpose of 
irrigation. Many thousands of individual owners of land so irrigated would 
not consent to the imposition of acreage limitations as a condition to having 
such underground waters augmented by project waters. 

9. Existing irrigation districts in California make up a large proportion of 
the districts eligible to contract for project water. These irrigation districts 
are organized under State law and each landowner within such district is en- 
titled to a proportionate share of available water, depending upon the assessed 
valuation of his land. Irrigation districts cannot impose acreage limitations to 
the owners of land within the districts as a condition to receiving project water, 
or otherwise. Irrigation districts will not be able to get the consent of the 
individual landowners, large and small, to accept acreage limitations as a con- 
dition to the delivery of project water, and therefore irrigation districts will 
not sign repayment contracts with the Bureau of Reclamation unless such dis- 
tricts are exempt from acreage limitations. This will render the entire Central 
Valley project economically unsound from the standpoint of repayment of costs. 

10. Since the Federal reclamation laws (adopted first in 1902) were adopted 
to provide for the reclamation of arid public lands, these laws with their excess 
land provisions should have no application to lands lying in reclamation districts, 
because none of the lands lying in reclamation districts were arid lands, but were 
swamp and overflow lands. The Federal Government, some 75 years ago, deeded 
all of such swamp and overflow lands to the State of California under an agreed 
obligation to cause said lands to be reclaimed by unwatering the same. Pursuant 
to that obligation, the State of California enacted laws for the creation of 
reclamation districts (starting with the act of 1861), placing the burden and 
cost of reclaiming these samp and overflow lands upon the purchasers thereof. 
In all California's laws for the creation of reclamation districts, there were no 
limitations as to the number of acres that could be held in one ownership. Pur- 
suant to the reclamation laws of the State of California many reclamation dis- 



166 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

tricts were created in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, and such districts 
constructed levees, pumping plants, drainage canals and other works of reclama- 
tion, which over the period of the districts' existence cost in many instances 
two or three times the present value of such lands. After such lands were re- 
claimed, many districts then constructed works for the irrigation of lands in 
such districts: therefore, what is said herein in regard to irrigation districts 
is largely applicable to reclamation districts. 

Since at the time the Federal reclamation laws (1902) were adopted practically 
all of the swamp and overflow lands in said valleys were in private ownership, 
it is clear that Congress in adopting the Federal reclamation laws had no intent 
to make such laws applicable to swamp and overflow lands, and particularly those 
then in private ownership. The Federal Government is now, solely because of 
the construction of the Shasta Dam and other works of the Central Valley project, 
attempting to treat such lands as arid lands and apply thereto the excess land 
provisions of said laws, which were intended to apply only to arid lands in Federal 
public ownership. 

In view of the foregoing facts, it is indeed unfair and inequitable to apply to 
said swamp and overflow- lands the excess land provisions of the Federal reclama- 
tion laws, and to require the owners thereof, in order to continue to receive water 
(a right long acquired under riparian and appropriation laws of this State), 
to sell all of their holdings in excess of 160 acres at a price fixed by the Federal 
Government. 

11. In the development of other Federal reclamation projects, such as the 
Colorado-Big Thompson, Boulder Canyon, Truckee storage, Pine River, and 
others, it has been" necessary to make exceptions to the excess land provisions of 
Federal reclamation law. It has also been the experience of the Reclamation 
Bureau that in practically all projects, the excess land provisions have been un- 
enforceable, and have in large measure been allowed to go by default insofar as 
enforcement is concerned. This, however, has not prevented the clouding of land 
titles, resulting in the lessening of values by reason of the theoretical imposition 
of such excess land provisions. In the Central Valley project, we have highly 
developed lands in both great valleys, and the reasons which impel exceptions to 
the excess land provisions apply with greater force to the Central Valley project 
than to the other projects above referred to. The excess land provisions of Fed- 
eral reclamation law were never intended to apply to a project such as the 
Central Valley project. 

12. In California we are confronted with facts and not theories. We have 
highly developed farm lands long under systems of irrigation and not arid public 
lands. The present system of Federal works is primarily in aid of navigation, 
flood control, and salinity repulsion, and not for the reclamation of arid lands. 
The supplying of water from the project for the purpose of. irrigation will be 
supplemental, irrigable waters already being applied to most land within the 
project. The furtherance of family farms as a social theory in connection with 
strictly reclamation projects simply cannot be made to apply to the Central Valley 
project. To attempt to apply it would be to forestall further agricultural develop- 
ment within the State, the clouding of land titles, and the defeat of the project 
from an economic standpoint. 

1M. In conclusion we would repeat that the excess land provisions of Federal 
reclamation laws are not applicable in any manner to the Central Valley project ; 
that such provisions of law insofar as Central Valley project is concerned would 
be unenforceable; that the attempted imposition of such excess land provisions 
upon lands lying in California irrigation and reclamation districts, other political 
subdivisions or agencies, and private landowners is impracticable, and that 
insofar as the success of the project is concerned the attempt to impose land 
limitations will result in the refusal of water users to contract for project water, 
and that such refusal to contract for project water and to repay the costs of the 
project works will result in the economic failure of the project, as well as the 
failure of the project to achieve its highest purposes, namely, the increase of the 
productivity of the agricultural lands in California through the supplying of 
supplemental water for irrigation and salinity repulsion. The Central Valley 
project, originally conceived and authorized under State law as a California water 
project, in its scope and extent vitally affects the future prosperity of the State. 

Landowners have acquired water rights and made developments under State 
law. and through hard work and the investment of private capital in large part 
have developed sound economic farms. It is neither right nor proper that the 
Federal Government under the guise of Federal reclamation laws should in a 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 167 

project of this character seek to enforce impossible conditions upon owners of 
developed lands in order to secure supplemental water supplies. To be realistic, 
the only solution from economic, social, and legal viewpoints, is the exemption 
Of the Central Valley project from the excess land provisions of the Federal 
reclamation laws. 

Mr. Deuel. Mr. Chairman, this map is too short to show what I 
wanted to show you. 

' Commencing at the very lower end of the San Joaquin Valley, right 
down next to the mountains, is this community of Arvin that you have 
heard mentioned. That is east of Bakersfield, and between Bakersfield 
and the mountains is the Arvin-Edison area. 

When I first became interested in this work, the people who settled 
Arvin were a group of very fine, religious colonists, settled it on a 
40-acre basis, and the water limit was about 50 feet. Many of them 
are old-time friends of mine; and as the water level went down they 
were compelled to dispose of those holdings because they could not 
buy others and they could not make a living on them, and I know 
many of these individuals personally. 

And that is where the DiGiorgio farm is. Mr. DiGiorgio puts wells 
down a great distance, large size, put on motors that ran from 
100-horsepower up. and brought the water from underneath the ground 
to irrigate this eight or nine thousand acres which he has highly 
developed. 

The original settlers lost out there in the sense that they could 
not continue to make good, but they did not lose out in toto because 
they sold out to larger operators who were able to do this job. 

There are the Barlow farms, the Jewett farms, with about a thou- 
sand acres, the Derby farms, with three sections, and farms of that 
kind now take the place of what were the 40- and 50-acre farms at 
Arvin — the very lower end. 

About 30 miles north of Bakersfield. in that valley, there is a dike. 
Apparently at least 30 years ago ground water came up to the level, 
and we had some artesian wells. I started farming on my ranch 5 
miles east of Bakersfield in 1903. My water level was 29 feet, and it 
stayed 29 feet until 1917. and then it began to go down. The same 
thing was happening in all this end of this valley which covered this 
particular basin that I refer to. Now, that basin does not contain 
these so-called badlands. They are all good lands. If you can get 
water and put on the land, Arvin district makes two bales of cotton to 
an acre. They make from three to four hundred sacks of potatoes to 
the acre in the Arvin-Edison district where they get the water sufficient 
to do that, but it takes these large projects to get it. My water level 
went down along with my neighbors' and everybody's, and that is 
the reason I became interested in this job, as I told you that I was 
chairman of a committee of 25. 

Professor Harding did that job of work under the State engineer. 
That showed us what we needed, aud as a result from that we started 
going to the legislature to get, not a project constructed if you please, 
but to get the State officials to make a study of a coordinated develop- 
ment of power and water and flood control, in the interest of all of 
the people, and that is what we started the study on in 1921. 

Now, if you come up about to Delano, 30 miles north of Bakersfield, 
you have got onto the high spot of this ground, beautiful productive 



168 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

area again, and there is a ranch in there of about 5,000 acres, the finest 
vineyard anywhere that I have ever seen in the world. 

Come over that hump. There are four small streams that come into 
the valley. If you leave the Kearn River from where it goes down with 
150,000 acres of farm land, that is all irrigated by the river, and it is 
this mess of land around the valley that the pumps irrigate. 

You go back over on this in the Kaweah Delta and we have the same 
thing, and we just repeat that up the valley. 

In other words, we have a pool here and a pool there and a pool 
here, with some breaks in there in some places, and there is no man 
a-living that I have ever talked to that had any idea of how you were 
going to tell what ground water was where down here in any of those 
places. 

If you put water on the land where I farm, just east of Bakersfield, 
none of it would ever reach the ground water because underlying that 
land is the thick stratum of clay through which water does not go. 

Now, just under that there was once surface water, but with the 
overdraft on the ground, water development — and that is where the 
29 feet lay early, years ago — that has drained out dry as a sponge, 
and you can prove that none of the water that is placed above there 
by these tomatoes or potatoes or cabbage or anything else they raise 
on those slopes ever goes into the ground water, by digging a hole 
down through that clay and finding nothing but dry chalk. There is 
no moisture. You have to go dowm now a hundred feet before you reach 
any water in the ground at all, but to get any to come up you go down 
about 400 feet. 

Now, I pump water on my ranch 120 feet. I have pumped it at 29 
feet, from 1903 to 1917, and I have pumped it a foot or two more each 
year from 1917 until this year I am pumping it 120 feet. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Deuel, what is your electric charge for pump- 
ing 120 feet, per acre-foot ? 

Mr. Deuel. My over-all cost — include interest and depreciation, 
which my rate-making causes me to do— about $2.25 an acre-foot. 

Senator Downey. That includes amortization and interest on your 
investment ? 

Mr. Deuel. That is depreciatioirand interest included, operation and 
maintenance. 

Now, of course, we have an advantage, in that dry valley, that 
the power consumption is high, but not high per acre-foot. If you 
were talking about acres, you would be talking about something else. 
As your power consumption increases, your rate decreases at a rather 
substantia] rate, and because of the amount of power that we nave 
to use, and that is the reason that we have these big developments. 

Senator Downey. Well, now, Mr. Deuel, I want to interrupt you a 
minute — if I may, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Ecton. Go ahead, Senator, please. 

Senator Downey. What did you say it costs you, total cost per 
acre-foot, to pump there? 

IVfr. Deuel. $2.25 this last year. 

Senator Downey. Well, how much is the surface irrigation going to 
cost the people down there, delivered from the Bureau of Reclamation ? 

Mr. Deuel. Six or seven dollars. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 169 

Senator Downey. Well, then, everybody will take the underground 
water in preference to the surface water, if they can do it, won't they ? 

Mr. Deuel. I am only a half a mile below the east side canal 
of the Kern County Land Co., and I get no effect of the run of the 
water in that canal, and I am sure that these people will pump. And 
that was the thing I wanted to point out on the map, Mr. Chairman, 
and I am sorry. Such ranches as the Tagus ranch, for instance, 
Because I am here — there are people here waiting to judge me with 
representing the big landowners. That does not bother me a bit in 
the world. I have been charged with all kinds of things, so it does 
not worry me; but I would like to show you why I think that this 
is in the interests of the small landowners. The Tagus ranch is in 
the Kawahe Delta. It is 607,000 acres. The last time I checked on it, 
they had 32 pumping plants on there. His water lift is nowhere near 
as much as mine, and they will pump water for well under $2 an 
acre-foot. Now, he is not going to come into anybody else's district 
and pay for gravitj^ water as long as he can pump it at that price. 
And until somebody finds some way to tag him with the portion of 
the water that the Bureau might put in there, you cannot charge him 
anything and that is the thing that I say is impractical. There is 
nobody that is going to attempt to do that. 

Now, there has been 

Senator Ecton. Let us hope they don't get away 'with it. anyway. 

Mr. Deuel. Well, I am hoping he doesn't and I am hoping that 
none of the balance of them get away with it. But, unfortunately, 
I started this thing, this argument in 1935 by trying to do something 
to control this underground water development, and I talked to every 
good water lawyer that I know of in California, and I have been 
acquainted with all these engineers all these years I have been in 
this work, and none of us has ever figured out any way that we can 
do that, because the court says that he is entitled to a proportionate 
share of all the water that is under his land in this basin. 

Senator Ecton. In other words, the landowner is entitled to every- 
thing under his land 

Mr. Deuel. That is right. And that is what the court has said. 

Senator Ecton. Unless there are specific reservations. 

Mr. Deuel. Now, when I tried to — when I argued with my own- 



Senator Ecton. Just a minute there, let me say in fairness to Mr. 
Straus who testified here yesterday that Mr. Straus agrees with that. 

Mr. Deuel. Well, I think it is true. Now, that is the serious thing. 

Now, I could mention the Sierra Vista ranch and a lot of other 
ranches, but I will give you an example of what I mean. I am sorry 
this did not come up early before the project got under way. We 
might have got some control then. 

But what has happened? In 1935, in these counties we are talking 
about in the San Joaquin Valley — keeping out of the Sacramento — 
the connected, we have 25,708 electric farms for electric irrigation 
customers with 361,205 horsepower of installed capacity. The 25,708 
customers have now increased in 1945 to 33,115 and the installed 
horsepower has gone up from 361,205 to 525,205. In 1935, the 
annual kilowatt-hour consumption was 481,002,261 and that increased 
in 1945 to 860,215,211 kilowatt-hours. 



170 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

I throw that in to show you how the development has been going- 
ahead here while we have been fooling along over these years, over 
this project and it is a very serious thing. I made the statement, and 
it is a fact, that it will take all the water that the San Joaquin River 
produces that the Bureau can possibly hold back from what it has to 
send below, which is only a small amount^ to supplement or to make 
whole the gravity flow from the rivers that do not last long enough 
to complete a good crop. And since I began taking water out of the 
East Side Canal, they turned the water out in July. Well, I could 
not complete a crop after July without my irrigation so I had to put 
in a pump, then I could not afford to carry the overcharges of a 
pump for the last irrigation and buy the first three from the Kern 
County Land Co. so I gave that up years ago and have done nothing 
but pump ever since. It is cheaper, and, as far as I am concerned, 
even at the rate it has been going, it will last as long as I live. 

Tliere has been a lot of talk about veterans here and I am inter- 
ested in veterans. I had six of them and I make the seventh one. I 
served in two wars and I have six sons who served in this one. So I 
do not want them to pay out just because I am about to play out, be- 
cause I have nine boys coming along behind me, two of them are'me- 
chanics and one is in the mercantile business and six of them are in 
farming. So I have a vital interest in this thing — a very vital inter- 
est — and I certainly hope that we will be put on a basis that these 
districts are. If I had been able to show you on the map the whole 
territory covered with districts that are ready and in a position to 
sign for all of this water just as soon as we get rid of this bugaboo, 
and if we can get rid of it they would have all been signed now, but 
instead, with propaganda of thousands of employees of the Bureau 
and all the hard work that has been done by a lot of people who have 
not understood the problem, they have no signatures yet of any mate- 
rial value. The signature of the San Joaquin district is not a signa- 
ture of an irrigation district ; it is the signature of a municipal utility 
district. 

Senator Ecton. Let me ask you this, Mr. Deuel : Do you feel that if 
this limitation were removed pertaining to this particular project you 
would have a 100-percent sign up there ? 

Mr. Deuel. Yes, here is the thing. There isn't a one of those dis- 
tricts that more than a majority of the people don't believe in this land 
limitation. Three quarters of all of my members certainly believe in 
it. Now, the only reason the board of directors of these districts do 
not sign the contract is that they cannot legally do it. See? Not be- 
cause they do not want to. They would not wait for a minute if they 
could legally sign and say to this excess landowner, "You cannot have 
t hat water." They would sign tomorrow. It would not take any cause. 

Senator Ecton. Then it is not left to the individual landowner; it 
is left to your board of directors to decide ? If your board of directors 
elect to sign up, that automatically puts every man in it? 

Mr. Deuel. That is in the district. 

Senator Ecton. Is that it ? 

Mr. Deuel. Yes, that is it. But the only reason they cannot sign is 
that this limitation conflicts with the law under which thev are organ- 
ized, and unfortunately most of them have bonds outstanding, and the 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 171 

district is mortgaged, and there are a lot of reasons why, you see, they 
cannot change things. 

Senator Ecton. I understand, but what I wanted to get straight was 
the fact that it is up to the board of directors that represent this district 
to make the signup. You do not have to run around and ask each indi- 
vidual if he is willing to come in ? 

Mr. Deuel. No, sir. 

Senator Ecton. That is correct? 

Mr. Deuel. The board of directors will be the directing agency with 
the Reclamation Bureau. 

Senator Ecton. I see. 

Mr. Deuel. And we can vote. Anybody, even if you had a minority 
that didn't want in. If you can 

Senator Ecton. The majority rules. 

Mr. Deuel. If you can prove that you can give them any benefit, you 
can vote them in : they cannot stay out. 

Senator Ecton. All right. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Deuel, those directors in the irrigation dis- 
tricts are elected by a general vote of the electors of the community, are 
they not? 

Mr. Deuel. That is right. 

Senator Downey. Not by the large landowners or any special class 
of landowners, but by a vote of all the electors in the district? 

Mr. Deuel. The large landowner has no more votes than the small- 
est landowner. Every individual who is a qualified elector in the 
district has a vote. 

Senator Ecton. Then let me ask you this. 

Mr. Deuel. Yes. 

Senator Ecton. As long as the board of directors have that power 
and they refuse to come in because of the excess landholdings, the 
little fellow who may want the water ever so badly is precluded from 
receiving the benefits ? 

Mr. Deuel. From getting it. 

Senator Ecton. Is that it ? 

Mr. Deuel. And the reason the directors do not sign is not that they 
do not want to, but because their attorneys tell them that legally they 
cannot sign, and all the lawyers I have talked to have told me that 
ever since I started with it in 1935. 

Senator Ecton. Suppose it stays just as it is, the project will not 
be completed ; is that it ? 

Mr. Deuel. That is right. Or, if completed, it will be made only 
very partial use of. 

Senator Ecton. Would the Reclamation Bureau go ahead and 
complete it if they could not get enough out of it to ever pay back if 
they could not get enough contracts signed to make it feasible and 
practical? How far have they gone with the project at the present 
time, Mr. Deuel ? 

Mr. Deuel. Well, the Shasta Dam is largely completed. There is 
some finish work to be done at the Shasta Dam. 

Senator Ecton. That is completed, but the canals 

Mr. Deuel. But the canals — only very, very minor amount of canal 
work done. 



172 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Ecton. Are they proceeding? 

Mr. Deuel. Yes. 

Senator Ecton. With the construction of the canals? 

Mr. Deuel. That is right. Not very rapidly. But then, I am not 
blaming the Bureau now, understand, for that. In other words, dur- 
ing the war it was a material limitation, and then the President froze 
a good part of the money in the appropriation this last year, and 
it is no blame on the Bureau, I would say, that they are not — — , 

Senator Downey. That was a Democratic President, wasn't it, that 
froze that money ? 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Deuel. Well, anyway 

Senator Ecrox. It is my understanding that it was, Senator . 

Senator Downey. Yes, it was mine too. 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Deuel. But, Mr. Chairman, I think this is a most serious 
thing. 

Senator Ecton. It is. I agree. 

Mr. Deuel. Because there are $2,000,000 in the project now. 

Senator Ecton. I have found out more about California in the last 
2 days than I have ever known. 

Mr. Deuel. And it would certainly be a wonderful thing if it 
could be completed. And we have heard so much about the big land- 
owners and the land barons, and whatever you want to call them. 
They do not enter in to this picture, only to a very. very small degree. 
We used to have them. When I came to Kern County I tried to buy 
two horses from the Kern County Land Co., 45 years ago. and they 
said they could not spare any. They only had 1,700. They were 
farming a hundred thousand acres. They do not farm any now. 
They have gone into the oil business. They have sold their land. 
They are selling their water, and they are in the oil business up 
to their eyes, making lots of money. The stock has gone up from 
s:>:> to $350, and then they doubled the issue so that it will not look 
too high. Miller & Lux have sold all their land. It is not in the hands 
of the average farmer and farm boys who have bought anywhere from 
80 acres up to a couple of sections. But unfortunately a lot of these 
young men have bought 640 acres or a couple of thousand acres or 
something of that kind, some of them two sections. Both in Madera 
County and in Kern County there is a little land on the assessment 
roll in the name of Miller & Lux as of today, because all the contracts 
have not been paid out. But they are out of the farming game 
entirely. 

Xow. these other corporations 

Senator Downey. I think, Mr. Deuel, that Miller & Lux owned as 
high as perhaps a million acres back in the 1920's, did they not? 

Mr. Deuel. Oh, I imagine so. I do not know. They had a lot of 
it. The Kern County Land Co. owns a lot yet. It has a hundred- 
odd-thousand acres in the San Emidio ranch." The front gate is six- 
teen hundred feet high, in the Coast Ran^e mountains. No project 
water is ever going to get on that. The Tejon ranch still has over a 
hundred thousand acres of range land in the Tejon Mountains, in 
the Tehachapi Mountains, but it likewise is far above the floor of the 
valley. In fact, it is a blessing to the small farms because they raise 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAXD LIMITATIONS 173 

cattle for our alfalfa and the grain and the stuff that we raise on the 
farms down in the valley. But it does not enter into this picture in 
any way. The corporations that we are discussing here are the Di- 
Giorgio and Sierra Vista farms and Tagiis ranch and a few like that; 
five or six or eight or ten thousand acres where people have gone to- 
gether and put down these deep wells with big plants, and producing 
water cheaply because they are producing it in large quantities. 
• Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Deuel, we are very much obliged for 
that illuminating statement, and I have no further questions, unless 
the chairman has. 

Senator Ectox. Xo. Thank you, Mr. Deuel. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Kaupke, will you please come forward and 
state your name and your title, for the record? 

STATEMENT OP CHARLES L. KAUPKE, WATER MASTER AND ENGI- 
NEER, KINGS RIVER WATER ASSOCIATION, CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Kaupke. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, my 
name is Charles L. Kaupke. I appear here at the request of Senator 
Downey. 

The Kings River project, which I represent, and the Central Valley 
project are separate entities. The Kings River project is now under 
construction by the Army engineers as a riood-controi project pursuant 
to the act of 1944. The act provides that the portion of the cost 
allocated to irrigating benefit shall be repaid by the local water users. 
It now appears that the repayment contract will be between the irri- 
gation units and the Department of the Interior under reclamation 
law. We are therefore very vitally interested in S. 912. 

I am the water master and engineer of the Kings River Water As- 
sociation. This association consists of 17 irrigation districts and 
mutual water companies embracing an area of 840,000 acres. Its pur- 
poses are to distribute thejwaters of Kings River in accordance with a 
schedule mutually agreed upon and to save and protect the rights 
of its members. The Kings River service area is situated in the 
geographical center of the San Joaquin Valley which is the southern 
lobe of the Central Valley of California. I am authorized and di- 
rected to appear here and urge the exemption of the Central Valley 
projects of California from the "land limitation provisions" of the 
Federal reclamation laws. A copy of my credentials is attached. 

I also have a further authorization which came by wire this morning. 
This is addressed to me at the Hotel Washington : 

You being a director of the Southern San Joaquin Valley Flood Control Asso- 
ciation, are hereby authorized to represent the association in appearances before 
the Senate Committee on Public Lands. This association heartily endorses 
repeal of the acreage limitations which have so long hampered construction of 
our needed flood-control project. 

Southern San Joaquin Valley Flood Control Association. 

By R. F. Schmeiser. its president. 

I might say that this association is attempting to promote the con- 
struction of flood-control projects on the four rivers, namely, Kings, 
KaAveah. Tule. and Kern, which are tributary to the Tulare Lake 
Basin. In at least three of these projects there is an irrigation bene- 
fit, and the repayment of the irrigation benefit will probably be under 

62453—47 12 



174 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 



reclamation law. So that association is likewise interested in this 
legislation. 

Now, to continue : 

The following table gives the number and average size of farms of 
the two counties which roughly comprise the Kings River service area. 
They are from the United States census and the figures do not segre- 
gate irrigated areas from the unirrigated pasture, and range lands. 



County 


X umber of 
farms 


Land in 
farms 


Acres in 

irrigated 

farms 


Average 
acreage 
of farms 




9,550 
2,132 


1, 463, 808 
507, 166 


922, 572 
397, 471 


107 




222 









It should be noted that Kings County contains the Tulare Lake 
Basin which is subject to frequent and prolonged flooding and con- 
sequently not suited for permanent homes. 

The project for flood control for the Kings River and Tulare Lake 
Basin was authorized for construction by the War Department in Pub- 
lic Law — I forgot that number — Seventy-eighth Congress, approved 
by the President on December 22, 1944. This project is under con- 
struction by the Corps of Engineers, United States Army, as a flood 
control project. It will be operated by the Corps of Engineers for 
flood control purposes. But it now appears that pursuant to Presi- 
dential directive the contract for the repayment of the costs allocated 
to irrigation will be between the local water users and the Depart- 
ment of the Interior under reclamation law. 

The Kings River service area is a flat alluvial cone with its apex 
at the point where Kings River debouches from the Sierra Xevada 
Mountains, and then extending westerly into the San Joaquin Valley. 
The outer periphery of this cone coalesces with that of the San Joaquin 
River on the north and the Kaweah River on the south. It is one of 
the most highly developed and diversified farming areas in the entire 
world. There are no public lands. Gravity irrigation began in the 
1850's and developed rapidly in the 1870's, All of the normal flows of 
the stream are diverted and used for irrigation under well-estab- 
lished water rights. The fertile topsoil of this area is underlain with 
thick strata of porous materials — sands and gravels which furnish 
excellent aquifiers for the storage of ground water. More than 13,000 
privately owned pumping plants with an estimated capacity of 10,000 
cubic feet per second have been installed to supplement the gravity 
diversions by canals. 

I would like to digress here just a moment and say that, while I 
give this number 13,000, new pumps are bein<r added every day. This 
year Kings River will furnish probably 50 percent of ' the* normal 
supply. Some of the units on Kings River, particularly those having 
secondary rights, will not receive enough water to furnish one single 
irrigation. The difference must be made up by pumping from the 
underground; and all of the land owners, regardless of the size of 
their holdings or regardless of the source of this water supply, will 
dip in and irrigate their lands from this common pool, if it may be 
called that, of underground water. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 175 

Back ill 1937 it was generally agreed that the 160-acre limitation 
could not and should not be applied to the Central Valley project and 
that apt legislative measures should therefore be prepared by the 
Bureau of Reclamation. In 1944 the Bureau presented a bill to the 
United States Senate as its proposed solution of the acreage limita- 
tion difficulties. When the dictatorial powers and the total imprac- 
ticability of the measure were revealed in the Senate hearing, the bill 
was condemned by the committee and abandoned by the officials of the 
Bureau itself. 

The law as presently interpreted by the Bureau of Reclamation 
provides that land ownership of more than 160 acres owned by one 
person or more than 320 acres owned by man and wife are considered 
excess. The excess land owner may not be refused water for 160 acres 
regardless of how much he owns, however, if he wants water for 
anything over 160 acres he must sign a contract agreeing to dispose of 
his excess land within a period of 10 years after water becomes avail- 
able at a price to be approved by the Secretary of the Interior. If he 
does not want water he is not required to sign a contract to sell the 
excess. 

In most sections of the Central Valley and particularly in the Kings 
River service area, the case is not as simple as that. A ground-water 
supply is obtainable at relatively low lifts, and all that one needs to 
do is to put down wells on his excess lands and pump from the under- 
ground supply to irrigate his excess land. However, in so doing he 
would be drawing on an underground supply augmented or replen- 
ished by water brought in by the district for use on the nonexcess 
land. In other words, water brought in by the small landowner. 

Prof. B. H. Crocheron, director of the agricultural extension service, 
University of California, points out 

Senator Ectox. Mr. Kaupke, may I ask a question there? 

Mr. Katpke. Surely. 

Senator Ecton. You say, in other words, these excess landholders 
could benefit by water brought in by the small landowner? 

Mr. Kaupke. Yes. 

Senator Ectox. As I understood it, according to the testimony of 
Mr. Deuel, the small landowner cannot bring in any water as long 
as he does not sign up ; that is, as long as the board of directors refuses 
to sign. 

Mr. Kaupke. Well, I know. He is entirely correct in that. I am 
assuming that we were just confronted with a physical situation; in 
other words, that the water could be brought to the little landowner 
and denied to the big landowner. 

Senator Ecton. You are saying, granting that that would be 
possible, this is what would happen? 

Mr. Kaitpke. Yes; you are correct, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Ectox. Go ahead. 

Mr. KAurE. Xow. this is a quotation from Dr. Crocheron : 

During the time I have been here in this position, 30 years, the farms of 
California have inereaspd in number from about 70,000 at the beginning of the 
century, a little after, to 135,000. They have almost doubled in number and 
yet the land under cultivation and in crops is precisely the same within a very 
small percentage. 



176 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Professor Crocheron then makes this observation : 

* * * In other words, the average farm of this State has been getting smaller 
and I fear in some cases dangerously so to keep this American standard of 
living. Forty percent of the farms of this State are under 20' acres in size; 
many of them are under 3 acres. In time of high prices such as we are having 
at the present time, the tendency is to subdivide the land, based upon the theory 
that those high prices are going to continue. * * * Now I noticed a great deal 
of discussion today about the big farm — those great corporate enterprises that 
seem to be distressing us all. I cannot find any statistics in the census or other- 
wise that indicate thai the large farms of California are increasing in number. 
There- are about 5,000 farms in this State that are 1,000 acres or over. Out of 
the 135,000 farms— and that includes all of the cattle ranches and everything — 
that number lias remained just about the same for about 40 years. 

The Fresno irrigation district, one of* the irrigation units on Kings 
River, containing about 240,000 acres had about 9,000 holdings when 
it was organized in 1921; today it has more than 12,400 holdings on a 
somewhat smaller area. 

The assessment levied by the district this year — and this year is 
higher than in past years due to increased costs — is $1.90 per acre. It 
is very cheap water. In some of the mutual water companies in Kings 
County on the south side of the river the water charge is even less 
than that; and I would suggest, if there are any land speculators in 
the room, that they might do well to go in and investigate these areas, 
because 1 think there is a real opportunity to get good land with cheap 
water. 

From the foregoing it will be seen that irrigated agriculture in the 
Central Valley shows a consistent trend from large farms to small 
farms. The small farm is replacing the large farms throughout all 
of the area which is suitable for residential purposes wherever cheap 
water and flood control have been provided and soils are suited to 
small farm groups. 

It should also be noted that the farm size pattern has been deter- 
mined by land use and adaptability and not by the application of an 
arbitrary rule. Why should it be 160 acres? Take for example the 
Aha irrigation district, another Kings River unit; the lands surround- 
ing the towns of Dinuba and Reedley are intensively cultivated and de- 
voted to the growing of grapes and tree fruits. Most of the holdings 
are 20 and 40 acres. In the southern part of the district not more than 
10 or 15 miles away the predominating soil types are heavy clays with 
some alkali. These lands are devoted chiefly to irrigated pastures. 
Most of the farm units are 640 acres and over." In the former instance 
160 acres is obviously more land than is necessary to meet the Bureau's 
obieetive while in the latter it is not enough. 

I would like to sav that 50 or 60 years ago the largest grain ware- 
houses ever built in the State were at Traver. That is one part of the 
Alta irrigation district. But when water became available— that is, a 
good supply of gravity water— the grain farms were changed for ir- 
rigated farms, they were broken up, they were colonized, and those 
warehouses have disappeared. Todav, if it were not for the signboard 
which says "Traver," you couldn't even find the site. 

Now, we might take another area, another unit under Kings River, 
the Crescent Canal area. This is devoted to the growing of grains, and 
there it is necessary to summer-fallow the lands. In other words, the 
laud is farmed in alternative years. So that vou really need double the 
area in grain lands which would be ordinarily required to support a 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 177 

family. I am sure that in this area at least a section of land is required 
to support a family, even with the present prices. 

Class I water by the Central Valley project, which is a supply com- 
parable with pumped water, will cost $3.50 per acre-foot at canal side. 
Allowing for transmission losses, this water will cost $4.50 to $5 per 
acre-foot at the land. Pump water in most sections of the Central 
Valley will come from $1 to $1.50 per acre-foot. In other words, under 
these circumstances the large owner who pumps will pay only one- 
fourth or one-third as much for his water as the small landowner. 
And particularly in this Kings River area it will cost him $1 to $1.50 
per acre-foot. In other words, under these circumstances. And yet 
there are those who contend that the application of the acreage-limita- 
tion provisions will benefit the small landowner. 

As I have stated, it is not possible to replenish the ground water 
under the nonexcess lands without also benefiting the underground 
supply for the excess lands. This means that the entire burden of 
taxation to purchase and distribute water to replenish the general 
ground-water supply under district lands will be carried by the small 
land owners which is obviously inequitable and unjust. 

And there again I am assuming, Mr. Chairman, that a legal way 
would be found to get the water into these districts. 

To illustrate, I have in mind an irrigation district of about 100,000 
acres which is in need of a supplemental water supply. Nearly one- 
half of the area is held in ownerships of more than 1G0 acres. If, for 
example, this district should purchase 100,000 acre-feet of water an- 
nually at $3.50 per acre-foot, the entire cost amounting to $350,000 
would be paid by one-half of the area owned by the small landowners. 
This district does not have a distributing system but is making plans to 
build one. It is estimated that this system will cost about $120 per 
acre or about $12,000,000. Here again the small landowner would be 
required to pay the entire cost. From the foregoing it is evident that 
as regards the cost of the water supply, which is an important element 
in farming operations, the large landowner would have a very definite 
advantage over the small landowner. This situation could conceivably 
start a movement toward larger and larger farms. When this becomes 
generally known I wonder whether the small landowner will still favor 
acreage limitation. 

At the present time there is a very general demand that something 
be done to create farm homes for the returned veteran. I am heartily 
in favor of this movement. But what does the Bureau of Reclamation 
propose? The owner of excess lands may keep his lands for 10 years 
after water becomes available. At least 4 or 5 years more will pass 
before the df ,ms and canals are completed, so in 15 or 16 years from 
now the veter an might get a farm. Generally speaking, the lands with- 
in the organised irrigation district are highly developed and will com- 
mand a high price. So far as I am aware the Bureau of Reclamation 
does not have a plan for financing the veteran in the purchase or de- 
velopment of a farm. I doubt whether the State of California will 
undertake sach a program after its experience with the Delhi and 
Durham colonies following World War I. 

And 1 t me digress here for just a moment. Take the irrigation 
districts where we will say a man has a section of land and he is 
required to sell half of it. ' He will not sell the better half. He will 



178 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

keep that, and the Bureau may be in this position of saying to a vet- 
eran : "Yes; we have a farm out here. We have 160 acres. One-half 
of it is rough hog wallow, the other has some alkali in it. but we be- 
lieve that if you will get in there and work like a slave for the rest of 
your life you can probably make a living. And that is all we want 
you to make anyway." 

Now, is that the way to treat a veteran ? I am in favor of what this 
man said here. Let us loan that veteran some money, if we really 
want to do something for him, and let him go out and select the type of 
farm, the kind of farm, that he wants, in the locality where he wants it. 
;»nd let us start from there. We entrusted him with a $350,000 bomber. 
We entrusted him with an LST boat. Now let us show our confidence 
in him by trusting him with a little money. 

One of the avowed purposes of the Bureau of Reclamation for apply- 
ing acreage limitation to the lands to be served in the Central Valley 
of California is to prevent or curb land speculation. Most of these 
lands are already developed and irrigated and are merely seeking a 
supplemental water supply. It is inconceivable that the acquisition 
of some additional water, at a relatively high cost, should start a 
boom in land prices. Our engineers in their studies to determine the 
irrigation benefit accruing to the Kings River area from the construc- 
tion and use of the Pine Flat Dam found an increase of 6 percent in 
new water and 9 percent improA^ement in service. The unit cost of this 
water will be much greater than that of the present water supply. It is 
doubtful whether the consummation of this project will have any effect 
whatever on the price of lands in the Kings River area. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Kaupke. let me see if I understand you. Your 
statement is that the Bureau project would only amplify your present 
water supply by (> percent ? 

Mr. Kaupke. Yes; with the — the entire normal flow of Kings River 
is now diverted, but if we had storage we could conserve some of the 
flood flows, and they are not very dependable water. They would 
occur in occasional years, but they would add about f> percent to the 
water that we are now using. 

Senator Downey. Do I understand that the Bureau is trying to ap- 
ply an acreage limitation over this whole great developed area because, 
forsooth, it is amplifying your supply by only 6 percent \ 

Mr. Kaupke. That is exactly our understanding. 

Senator Downey. And that 6 percent of the water they are going 
to give you, as I understand, will cost you maybe twice as much on an 
average as the present water? 

Mr. Kaupke. It will cost us more than that. 

Senator Downey. And that is the kind of water that the Bureau 
believes will create a speculative boom? 

Mr. Kaupke. Yes. 

Senator Downey. They are going to bring in water like that, and 
they think they will create some sort of speculative boom? 

Mr. Kaupe. And that water is of rather infrequent occurrence. 
That is, you could not make any developments dependent on that 
supply. 

Senator Downey. Thank you, Mr. Kaupke. 

Mr. Kaupke. It is contemplated that the Bureau of Reclamation 
will contract with irrigation districts. These districts are political 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 179 

subdivisions of the State and have a taxing power. A landowner 
within a district, regardless of the size of his holdings, is entitled to 
water in proportion to his assessment. It is, therefore, very doubt- 
ful whether under the law the Board of Directors can refuse a land- 
owner his share of the water no matter what may be the source of 
supply. It is my understanding that the Imperial irrigation district 
•found itself in this position when negotiating the All- American Canal 
contract. Dr. Wilbur, Secretary of the Interior during the Hoover 
administration, solved the problem by the simple expedient of waiving 
the acreage limitation provisions. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Kaupke, do you later discuss in your state- 
ment to what extent the Bureau wants to take the control and man- 
agement of that whole great project ? 

Mr. Kaupke. No. I might say here, we discussed that matter last 
year, and you were present, Senator, with Secretary Krug. 

Senator Downey. Yes. 

Mr. Kaupke. And he told us that he would insist on one compre- 
hensive project over the entire San Joaquin Valley, and a uniform 
water contract. That is one of the things we are relying on. Accord- 
ing to what we have from the Bureau we are going to be subject to 
the same kind of contract that they are applying in other parts of 
the valley. 

The letter to which I refer is dated February 24, 1933, and is 
directed to the Imperial irrigation district, El Centro, Calif. I am 
going to read just one short paragraph : 

Early in the negotiations connected with the Ail-American Canal contract 
the question was raised regarding whether and to what extent the IGO-acre 
limitation is applicable to lands to be irrigated from this canal. Upon careful 
consideration the view was reached that this limitation does not only apply 
to lands now cultivated and having a present water right. These lands, having 
already a water right, are entitled to have such vested right recognized with- 
out regard to the acreage limitation mentioned. Congress evidently recognized 
that these lands had a vested right when the provision was inserted that no 
charge shall be made for the storage, use, or delivery of water to be furnished 
these areas. 

Now I would also like*to read from a letter from the Secretary of 
War, addressed to me as Secretary of the Kings River Water 
Association : 

Dear Mr. Kaupke : I am in receipt of letter of October 28, 1946, from the Kings 
River Water Association and the Tulare Lake Basin water-storage district, rep- 
resenting local water users interested in the Kings River-Tulare Lake project, 
transmitting their report on allocation of cost of that project as required by the 
War Department Civil Appropriation Act of May 2, 1946. 

I have also received from the Secretary of the Interior an allocation recom- 
mendation by the Acting Commission of Reclamation, and a report from the State 
engineer of California, as well as the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers 
made after consideration of the views of all agencies. It is my present intention 
to accept the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers and to make an allocation 
substantially as set forth in his report. 

Now I would like to read one paragraph from the Chief's report to 
which the Secretary refers : 

After considering the recommended allocations and viewpoints of the Bureau 
of Reclamation and of the local organizations, I am of the opinion that the condi- 
tions affecting the Kings River and Tulare Lake project are quite different from 
those involved in the usual type of Federal irrigation development. In the first 
place flood-control benefits of the project are more than sufficient to justify its 



180 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

entire cost. Other conditions include the facts that local water users have 
incurred expenditures of over $70,000,000 without Federal assistance in develop- 
ing their irrigation systems : that they are now using by far the greater part of the 
flow of Kings River under established water rights ; and that this project does 
not involve the development of new lands hut is for improving water supply for 
existing holdings of lands already developed. Thus, in my opinion, land owner- 
ships and farming operations in the area make inappropriate the acreage limita- 
tions involved in reclamation law. It is my belief therefore that a determination 
of cost allocation by the Secretary of War will have no practical value in getting 
this needed project underway unless, in establishing the repayment arrangements, 
reclamation law is interpreted and applied to this project in Bueh way as may be 
necessary to meet the just requirements of local water users, while at the same 
time safeguarding the Federal interest. 

Now, a quotation : 

'•What California needs is outright repeal of the limitation, as it applies to 
this State" is the definite statement made by the Los Angeles Times in an edi- 
torial comment in that paper's columns March 22. 1947. The editorial continues: 
"The fact appears to be that the 1902 Reclamation law is more honored in the 
breach than in the observance. According to Pacific Rural Press and California 
Farmer, a recent confidential report to the Reclamation Bureau by one of its 
attorneys, B. P. King, disclosed that in only one out of the 44 irrigation districts 
controlled by the Bureau is the 160-acre limitation enforced ; in the other 43 it is 
not enforced, and that the proportion of ranches larger than 160 acres runs itp 
to 36.8 percent * * * What California needs is outright repeal of the limita- 
tion as it applies to this State. There may be places where such a limitation is 
necessary and proper ; here it is impractical and would work great hardship. In 
some cases larger ranches which did not take irrigation water directly would 
get it indirectly and without paying for it by pumping from the underground 
supply — so that small farmers would foot the bill for their neighbors' irrigation." 

May I suggest that for years the best engineering and legal talent 
in the Bureau of Reclamation has wrestled with this problem, and so 
far no one has come up with a satisfactory solution. The contracts 
now proposed by the Bureau, particularly the so-called 9E clause, 
would bind any water user signing a contract for repayment of the 
cost of the project over an extended period of time, 40 years or more, 
without any guaranty that at the end of the. repayment period, even 
after the project was completely paid for, the contracting districts 
would have either secured new water rights or safeguarded the rights 
they had before signing the contract. This* contract further fails to 
give assurance that after the cost of the Central Valley has been repaid 
that the purchasing district will own or control any part of the project. 
The contract does not even grant the district the privilege of renewal 
at the end of the 40-year period. 

The proof that the irrigation districts are well aware of the imprac- 
ticability of the contract now proposed may be deduced by the fact 
that after more than 2 years of effort by the Bureau of Reclamation to 
persuade irrigation districts to sign such a contract that not a single 
irrigation district has signed. The only political subdivision to sign 
is the Southern San Joaquin Mutual Utility District, a nonoperatng 
district, which has neither a water right nor a distributing system. 

I wish to quote from a statement by Ray B. Wiser, president of the 
California Farm Bureau Federation : 

The 160-acre limitation controversy is a good example of an administrative 

ae astray. It is no part of the Bureau's duties to participate in this 

argument. Its function is to administer laws, not to make them, and it is 

ling administrative funds as a protagonist of one side of an argument which 

•ns only the Congress and the people themselves. We have high hopes 

that this particular controversy will be favorably resolved at the present session, 

despite the Bureau's wholly illegal efforts to retain it. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 181 

Attached is a copy of a resolution unanimously adopted by the board 
of directors of the Kings River Water Association at a meeting held 
on July 23, 1946, in Fresno, Calif. This resolution sets forth the con- 
ditions under which this association is ready and willing to contract 
with a Federal agency, which has the right and authority to do so, 
for the use of storage space in the Pine Flat Reservoir. Your atten- 
tion is respectfully directed to provision No. 7, which reads : 

That any so-called acreage limitations shall not apply to lands now having water 
rights or rights to service from parties to this agreement. 

The directors of the Kings River Water Association do not believe 
that the Bureau of Reclamation, or anyone else, will be able to present 
any satisfactory solution of the acreage limitation problem short of 
repeal. 

Xow Mr. Chairman, we on Kings River have been repeatedly accused 
of wishing to negotiate with the Army engineers in order that we may 
escape payment of a share of the cost ; in other words to get a free ride. 
And for that purpose, with your permission, I would like to read a 
resolution adopted by the King's River Water Association, which I 
am sure will show that we have agreed to make a very substantial pay- 
ment. Remember, we are only getting a 6-percent increase in water 
and a 9-percent improvement in service. [Reading:] 

Whereas the Congress of the United States, by Public Law 534, Seventy-eighth 
Congress, authorized the construction of the Pine Flat Dam by the Corps of 
Engineers, United States Army, for flood control and other purposes, at an esti- 
mated cost of $19,700,000, and directed that the Secretary of War shall make 
the arrangements for payments to the United States for conservation storage 
when used and that the division of costs between flood control, and irrigation 
and other water uses shall be determined by the Secretary of War ; and 

Whereas the Congress, by the War Department civil functions appropriation 
bill, 1947 (H. R. 5400), appropriated $1,000,000 for construction of works for 
flood control and other purposes in connection with said project 

Senator Downey. Mr. Kaupke, I wonder — I do not want to cut short 
any of the witnesses — but I wonder if we could not just put that into 
the record without reading it. I have read it, and we have only a 
limited time. 

Mr. Kaupke. If that is desirable. I would like to say, though, that 
we have- offered to pay $10,000,000 for the use of this storage entirely 
incidental to the main purpose of flood control. Our use of that 
storage will not limit or impair the use of the entire million acre-feet 
for flood control. We in no way make use of the flood-control space 
when needed for flood control, and I challenge anyone to show us 
another project in the United States where anyone has paid a cent for 
the use of such incidental storage. 

(The document referred to is as follows :) 

Resolution 

Whereas the Congress of the United States, by Public Law 534, Seventy- 
eighth Congress, authorized the construction of the Pine Plat Dam by the Corps 
of Engineers, United States Army, for flood-control and other purposes, at an 
estimated cost of $19,700,000, and directed that the Secretary of War shall make 
the arrangements for payments to the United States for conservation storage 
when used and that the division of costs between flood control, and irrigation and 
other water uses shall be determined by the Secretary of War ; and 

Whereas the Congress, by the War Department civil functions appropriation 
bill, 1947 (H. R. 5400), appropriated $1,000,000 for construction of works for 
flood control and other purposes in connection with said project ; and 



182 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Whereas, notwithstanding said provision of the laws of the United States di- 
recting the Secretary of War to make arrangements for payments, a letter from 
the President to the Secretary of the Interior, dated May 2, 1946, directed that 
the Commissioner of Reclamation, rather than the Secretary of War, proceed 
forthwith to make the necessary repayment arrangements with the prospective 
water users, meanwhile impounding the moneys appropriated for construction; 
and 

Whereas, notwithstanding the provision of law directing the Secretary of War 
to make arrangements for payments to the United States, there was issued, on 
the 24th day of June 1946, a joint statement by the Chief of Engineers (War 
Department) and the Commissioner of Reclamation (Department of the In- 
terior) by Presidential direction, to the effect that contracts with local water 
users who are beneficiaries of the development must be made by them with the 
Secretary of the Interior under reclamation law ; and 

Whereas said acts and statements of purpose on the part of the executive 
branch of our Government appear to be contrary to the express desires of 
all the irrigation agencies on Kings River and the specific directions of the Con- 
gress ; and 

Whereas, in compliance with the intent of Congress, engineers of Kings River 
Water Association and Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District have hereto- 
fore made continuing studies relative to the irrigation benefits to be derived from 
the construction of said Pine Flat Dam and have recently conferred with repre- 
sentatives of the Secretary of War and the Bureau of Reclamation relative 
thereto and relative to the contribution and payment which should be made by 
local irrigation interests; and 

Whereas the regional director of the Bureau of Reclamation, Department of 
the Interior, has called a public meeting to be held at Fresno on July 30, 1946, 
for a discussion of the questions ; and 

Whereas the Bureau of Reclamation, through the assistant regional director, 
has indicated that the water users of the Kings River service area should pay 
at least $20,000,000 for the incidental irrigation benefit, and the representative of 
the Corps of Engineers stated that this repayment should be about one-half of 
the cost, or $16,500,000 : Now therefore, be it 

Resolved, That we reaffirm our willingness and desire to cooperate with all 
proper Federal agencies in the construction of the Pine Flat Dam on Kings River 
in accordance with Public Law 534, Seventy-eighth Congress, and War Depart- 
ment civil functions appropriation bill, 1947 (H. R. 5400). We further reaffirm 
that we are willing, ready, and able to pay a fair contribution for irrigation bene- 
fits that may accrue. As evidence of this position, the engineers of the Kings 
River area have indicated to the Bureau of Reclamation and the Corps of En- 
gineers, United States Army, their willingness to recommend to the Kings River 
Water Association and the Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District a pay- 
ment of $10,000,000 in 40 equal annual installments, plus an appropriate share 
of the operation and maintenance charges, as such contribution for irrigation 
benefits ; and be it further 

Resolved, That the board of directors of Kings River Water Association directs 
the attention to the fact that the laws of the United States should be followed by 
the Executive department of our Government, and that any arrangements for 
payment to the United States by local irrigation interests should be made between 
them and the Secretary of War and not with the Department of the Interior or 
the Bureau of Reclamation ; and be it further 

Resolved, That for the protection of the essential water rights of the people of 
the Kings River service area, the board of directors of this association insists that 
any contract between local irrigation organizations and the Government of the 
United States, or any department or bureau thereof, must contain provisions as 
follows : 

1. That nil Kings River water remain within the presently irrigated area 
anl< - it is mutually agreed that it can be diverted. 

2. That the Kings River interests have the entire use of Pine Flat storage 
subject to nriority for the flood-control requirements as determined by the Sec- 
retary of War. 

:;. That no right, title, or interest in use of the waters of Kings River, either 
Surface or underground, shall pass to the Department of the Interior as a result 
of this agreement. 

4. That this project shall be recognized as a separate entity and not in any way 
a part of the Central Valley project. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 183 

5. That the contract to be negotiated be a repayment contract for use of the 
storage space in the reservoir. 

6. That neither the Kings River Water Association nor any of the units com- 
prising the association shall be required to keep books and records and crop re- 
ports and other data on demand of any Federal agency as a result of this agree- 
ment. 

7. That any so-called acreage limitations shall not apply to lands now having 
water rights or rights to service from parties to this agreement. 

8. That the contract clearly define the operation and maintenance charges to be 
paid under this agreement by those contracting for storage space. 

0. That is the future any agency building a power plant at Pine Flat Dam is 
to have no control over the time and amount of release of water or any right to 
hold storage to provide minimum heads except as arrangements may be made with 
the local irrigation interests having the use of Pine Flat Reservoir for irrigation 
purposes. 

10. That if power plants are hereafter built on the drainage area of Kings 
River above Pine Flat Reservoir and the use of reregulatory storage in Pine 
Flat Reservoir is sought, the rights to any such reregulatory storage shall be 
subject to the rights of the local irrigation organizations and shall require an 
agreement with them covering the extent of such reregulatory storage and the 
conditions of its operation. 

11. That Pine Flat Reservoir shall be operated as to irrigation in accordance 
with the instructions of a watermaster appointed by and acting for the irrigation 
interests. 

12. That Federal control on Kings River be limited to the jurisdiction of the 
Corps of Engineers over flood-control operations at the dam and the division of 
flood flows at the forks. 

13. That repayments on behalf of irrigation shall not become due until storage 
space is fully available. 

14. That contracts for the repayments covering storage uses to be provided 
for irrigation regulation in Pine Flat Reservoir shall be separately entered 
into with each local agency subscribing for such use and shall define the space 
alloted each such unit, the amount and terms of repayment therefor, and such 
other of the provisions of this agreement as shall apply. The Kings River 
Water Association will facilitate the preparation and execution of such contracts 
and act as a collection agency for the receipt and transmission to the Federal 
Government of such repayments, but it shall not be required to endorse or under- 
write such payments. 

15. That contracts between the Federal Government and each unit shall pro- 
vide with respect to the terms of repayment that such unit shall have the option 
to make the same in 40 equal annual payments, without interest, beginning 6 
months after notice of the completion of the reservoir in condition for operation 
or the equivalent lump-sum payment within 5 months after such notice. The 
amount of repayment required of each unit shall be that proportion of the required 
total repayment represented by the ratio of the storage capacity subscribed 
for by it to the total storage capacity allotted to irrigation uses. 

Mr. Kaupke. Now, I would like to make this further statement. 
There is a great deal of agitation in our community on acreage limi- 
tation. The Bureau appears to have an unlimited number of men 
who are available to go around and preach acreage limitation and 
what it will mean in the way of land monopoly. Yet here we have 
submitted 15 points and conditions under which we are willing to 
contract. I have never heard one of those points discussed. They 
devote their entire time to talking about acreage limitation. 

Xow, to sum up, I have just a few conclusions here : 

The stand of the directors of the Kings River Water Association 
against the excess land limitations provisions of the Bureau of Rec- 
lamation laws is based on the following facts or reasons: 

(1) The Kings River service area has old. well-established water 
rights covering the entire normal flow of the stream. 



184 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

(2) These lands are highly developed and have already attained 
their incremented value due to water rights and improvements, and no 

safeguard against increases and possible speculation as a result of 
project construction is required. 

(3) Because of excellent ground-water conditions, no landowner, 
regardless of the size of his holdings, can be deprived of a water supply 
so long as the ground-water supply is replenished. 

(4) Project construction is confined to the Pine Flat Dam and does 
not include any development within or adjacent to the Kings River 
service area. 

(5) Water provided or made available by the dam construction 
is only supplemental to water already used as a result of existing 
water rights and will at all times be a small portion of the total water 
used — 6 percent increase in new water and a percent improve- 
ment in service. 

(6) One of the largest fully developed tracts of so-called excess lands 
is the Kearney farm near Fresno, containing 5,200 acres, * which is 
the property of the State of California and therefore exempt from 
the acreage-limitations provisions of Bureau of Reclamation law. 

(7) Most of the other large developed holdings are units of fruit 
processing, wineries, and dairying enterprises, which for successful 
operation are dependent upon keeping their lands intact. 

(8) It is doubtful whether an irrigation district contracting with 
an agency of the Federal Government can lawfully deny a landowner 
within the district, regardless of the size of his holdings, a share in 
the storage space or water acquired thereby. 

(9) The percentage of so-called excess holdings in the Kings River 
service area, at the present time, is believed to be no greater than 
that of the Bureau of Reclamation projects in the 17 Western States. 

Now, Mr. Chairman, what I have said about Kings River service 
area is generally through the developed areas under the Central 
Valley project. 

Senator Ectox. Thank you, Mr. Kaupke. 

Senator Downey. Thank 3^011 very much. Mr. Kaupke. 

Senator, we have one witness who tells me it will not take over 
10 or 15 minutes to read his statement. We could conclude with him 
tonight, and then we are going to give way to witnesses on the other 
side who are anxious to get back to California, later taking up our 
testimony again. 

Do you care to listen to this witness tonight \ Mr. Luther, would you 
come forward? Or would you rather have it go over until tomorrow? 

Senator Ecton. If it will take only a minute, I can stay. Other- 
wise I am going to have to adjourn at this time. 

Senator Downey. The Senator has to leaA*e at about a quarter past 
5. He can stay 2 or 3 minutes beyond that. And I do not want to 
put pressure on you. Thank vou. Mr. Luther. You have come a long 
way. 

Mr. Luther is from the Sacramento Valley and has had a wide 
experience in these matters. 1 know his statement will be most help- 
ful to us. And I do not want to hurry you. Mr. Luther. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 185 

STATEMENT OF JOHN M. LUTHER, MANAGER, CENTRAL VALLEYS 
FLOOD CONTROL ASSOCIATION, SACRAMENTO, CALIF. 

Mr. Luther. My name is John M. Luther, and I am the manager 
of the Central Valley Flood Control Association. That association 
represents the area that Mr. Hyatt spoke of yesterday in his testimony, 
that has about a third of the agricultural lands and about two-thirds 
of the water involved in this project. 

The California Central Valleys Flood Control Association is an 
organization of reclamation districts and landowners in the Sacra- 
mento Valley. 

The area of agricultural lands directly represented by the associa- 
tion is approximately 600,000 acres. 

This association is opposed to the application of acreage limitation 
provisions of United States reclamation law to the Sacramento Valley. 
We strongly support the bill before your committee to remove the 
Central Valley of California, of which the Sacramento Valley is a 
part, from acreage limitation. 

Most of the lands within the organized districts in the Sacramento 
Valley were originally unusable due to annual overflow from the 
Sacramento River and its tributaries. 

The reclamation districts were organized for the purpose of re- 
claiming the overflow lands for agricultural purposes. These districts 
w T ere organized at various dates starting about 1870 and continuing 
into the 1930's. 

In addition to the construction of levees and dikes for reclamation 
purposes the districts also constructed drainage canals and pumping 
plant for discharge back into the ri\ r er of flood and seepage waters 
which would have otherwise accumulated on the lands. In 1917 the 
State Reclamation Act was changed in order to permit reclamation 
districts to construct and operate irrigation works so that presently 
many of the districts are the medium through which irrigation waters 
are supplied to the landowners. * 

This building of reclamation and irrigation works has been a tre- 
mendously expensive undertaking. The flood-control features alone 
have amounted to approximately $130,000,000 to date, of which local 
expenditures by the districts and the State of California have totaled 
$90,000,000. In many of the districts the accumulative expense to the 
landowner through district assessments has amounted to more than 
twice the present selling price for developed agricultural lands in 
the Sacramento Valley. 

All of the lands in the valley now devoted to agricultural produc- 
tion are in private ownership. There are no publicly owned lands in 
the Sacramento Valley to be served by irrigation water from the 
project or available for land settlement. 

The size of individual holdings in the various reclamation districts 
has varied greatly during the past 70 years, the trend being in 
the direction of smaller farms. Individual holdings vary greatly 
between districts because of the types of soil and crops which have 
been found through experience to be best suited to the lands. For 
example, in the districts along the Sacramento River north of the 
city of Sacramento. much of the acreage is devoted to grain and rice 
production. Typical of such lands are reclamation district 108 lying 



186 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

on the west side of the Sacramento River about 35 miles north of 
Sacramento, and districts 1000 and 1001 lying immediately north 
of the city of Sacramento on the east side of the river. These three 
districts have a combined area of 143,000 acres. Their soils consist 
mostly of Sacramento clays with small areas of Colombis silt loams and 
.sandy loams along the rivers. 

Reclamation district 108 was organized in 1870— that is about the 
oldest district in the valley — and has spent about $10,000,000, or $183 
per acre, in reclaiming its lands. Reclamation districts 1000 and 1001 
were organized in 1912 and have spent about $5,350,000. or $63 per 
acre, for reclamation. To carry out this, the reclamation districts 
financed the work through interest-bearing bonds, so that the entire 
cost to the landowner, including interest, over the years has been about 
twice the above figures. 

The usual cropping method of these districts is to plant rice 1 year 
followed by 1 year of summer fallow, then 1 year in barley and hence 
followed by 2 years in wheat. Recently, on the east side of the rivei\ 
a considerable acreage has been planted to Ladino clover. Thus, under 
normal conditions a farmer in these districts would receive four crops 
in 5 years. 

On this type of farming, in consideration of all the factors involved 
in economically producing crops and the investment in machinery, 
reclamation and irrigation, acreage ownerships are generally large. 
For example, in reclamation district 108, comprising 57,000 acres, 
there are a total of 68 owners. Twenty-four of these holdings are 160 
acres or less; 9 are between 160 and 320; 15 are between 320 and 640; 
and there are 20 ownerships in excess of 640 acres. 

When organized, all of the lands in that district were held in four 
ownerships. Presently the largest ownership in the district is by the 
reclamation district itself, totaling 7,600 acres. This area represents 
those lands which have reverted to the district for failure to pay assess- 
ments. During the 1930 ? s a considerable acreage in excess of this fig- 
ure was taken over by the district which lands have now been sold back 
to individual farmers. The district lands still owned and operated by 
the district are to be resold into private ownership at such time as the 
trustees feel it advisable. 

In the two districts on the east side of the river, totaling 85,000 
acres, there are 768 owners. Six hundred and eighty-nine of these 
holdings are 160 acres or less; 87 are between 160 and 500; and 2 are in 
excess of 500. 

Lr 1917 one land company owned 58,388 acres in these two districts, 
t he balance of 26,738 acres being individually owned. Since that date 
to April 1 of this year, the land company sold approximately 45,000 
acres to individuals and is continuing the sale of all its lands. This 
company lias never operated farm lands, its primary development ob- 
jective being their ultimate disposal as economic farming units for 
individual fanners. Much of the experience in these districts in land 
sales has been during periods of depressed prices and 'it has been a 
primary objective to dispose of the lands in such a manner as will best 
assure proper management on the basis of the types of land and crops 
and water supplies available which are best suited to the area. It has 
therefore been the practice of this land companv to advise individuals 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 187 

against the acquisition of small tracts of the heavy type soil. A rela- 
1 i vely large number of individual small holdings is accounted for by a 
considerable acreage of bottom lands along the Sacramento, Bear, and 
Tuba Rivers suitable to the growing of fruit and vegetable crops. In 
Hclamation district 108 only limited areas of such lands are to be 
found. 

It is therefore apparent that both large and small operations have 
been and will continue to be carried on in the Sacramento Valley and 
that both types of farming have a definite place in our economy. The 
determination of the size of operation, however, is not a matter to be 
regulated by government. 

A key consideration in the acquisition and development of these 
lands by individuals was the right to the waters of the Sacramento 
River and its tributaries for irrigation. Under the riparian doctrine 
in California, lands which have continuously bordered the streams 
have the riparian right to such water as they can beneficially use. 
Interior lands have secured water right through appropriation under 
State laws. Thus all of the lands in the districts discussed have been 
secure in their water rights for many years under the law. Out of the 
143,000 acres in these three districts, 14,867 acres are in holdings of 
100 acres or less, 128,133 acres being in excess of this amount.. Thus, 
the established water rights of about 90 percent of the producing 
acreage in these three districts would be questioned and thrown into 
litigation if acreage limitation were to be enforced. 

Irrigation of the lands is done by two methods : By diverting water 
from the river by gravity or pumping; or by well pumping from the 
underground supply. Approximately one-third of the area is irri- 
gated from the underground supply. Approximately one-third of 
the area is irrigated from the underground supply, the balance from 
the river and its tributaries. 

These rights and the irrigated agriculture of the valley have all 
been acquired and developed by the landowner and no part of the 
present highly developed agricultural industry has been brought about 
by any Federal program. Under normal conditions and up to the 
present time there has always been enough water available from the 
river to take care of the requirements of the irrigated lands in the 
Sacramento Valley. The only exception to this are the occasional 
years of subnormal run -off and abnormal cropping. The irrigation 
benefits to be provided by the Central Valley project would therefore 
be but supplementary to this already highly developed and intensively 
irrigated area. 

A great many farmers in California, including those represented 
by the reclamation districts that I represent feel that acreage limita- 
tion provisions were never intended to apply to areas already developed 
and entirely in private ownership. These districts, therefore, feel it 
necessary that Congress pass a law removing the acreage limitations 
insofar as lands in the Central Valley area of California are concerned. 
This has been done, we understand, in other Bureau projects supplying 
supplemental waters, and similar treatment should be afforded in this 
case where all of the lands are in private ownership and where the 
primary purpose of the project is but supplementary to present 
developments. 



188 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Now, I have listed six points or reasons that these reclamation dis- 
tricts put forth as why they support this bill. They are as follows: 

1. That the application of excess-land provisions would violate the 
long recognized and well established water rights acquired under Sta f 
law. As we understand it, the national reclamation law requires rt 
spect for State water law. 

2. That the determination by any governmental agency of the maxi 
mum number of acres in individual ownership to be furnished irriga- 
tion water would be impracticable and inequitable in the light of vary- 
ing soil conditions and needs for crop rotations. 

3. That all of the lands in reclamation districts were owned by 
individuals for many years prior to the adoption of the first excess 
land provision. 

4. That the construction and installation of the irrigation woi ^ m 
the valley has been paid for in its entirety by the individual land- 
owners. 

5. That there are no publicly owned lands in the Sacramento Valley 
to be served by Central Valley project water. 

(>. That every landowner in the districts represented by the associa- 
tion possesses water rights for his lands. The application of a^r^age 
limitation would question the validity of State laws under which a^e 
rights have been acquired, resulting in a generation of chaos and 
litigation. 

This association, therefore, strongly favors the legislation now be- 
fore your committee which would amend the reclamation law by 
specifically eliminating Central Valley lands in California from the 
application of excess land provisions. 

That completes the statement. 

Senator Ecton. Thank you, Mr. Luther. 

Do you feel that it would be to the advantage of the entire district 
if there were an exception made to this particular project? 

Mr. Luther. I can speak for the Sacramento Valley : Yes, we do. 

Senator Ecton. Do you have any questions you want to ask, 
Senator? 

Senator Downey. None, Senator. 

Senator Ecton. We appreciate your directness and your brevity, 
and we thank you, Mr. Luther. 

The committee will stand adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10 
o'clock. 

(Whereupon, at 5 : 22 p. m., an adjournment was taken until tomor- 
row, Wednesday, May 7, 1947, at 10 a. m.) 






EXEMPTION OF CEETAIN PBOJECTS FROM LAND LIMITA 
TION PEOYISIONS OF FEDEEAL EECLAMATION LAWS 



WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 1947 

United States Senate, 
' m£hjbcommittee ox irrigation axd reclamation of the 
. f Committee on Public Lands. 

Washington, D. C. 
The subcommittee met. pursuant to adjournment, at 10 a. m., with 
Senator Zales X. Ecton presiding. 

Present : Senators Ecton and Watkins. 

-) present :Senators Downey and Johnson (Colo.). 
Are were present before the subcommittee : Harry C. Myers, presi- 
dent, Conejos Water Conservancy District, Antonito, Colo.; John F. 
Brady, member of board of directors of Conejos Water Conservancy 
District, Manassa, Colo.; James A. Reed, member of board of directors 
of Conejos Water Conservancy District, Sanford, Colo.; William E. 
Warne, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation, Washington, 
D. C. ; George Sehlmeyer, master, California State Grange, Sacra- 
mento, Calif. : O. M. Davis, executive secretary. Central Valley project 
conference, Kerman, Calif.; and Frank Swett, member, California 
Farm Bureau, Alhambra Valley, Calif. 

Senator Ecton. The committee will come to order. 
Senator Johnson of Colorado would like to say a few words in 
regard to this bill at the present time, and because of conflict and 
other difficulties of making arrangements we will hear Senator Johnson 
and others representing the State of Colorado the first thing this 
morning. 

So, Senator Johnson, go ahead and make your statement ? 

STATEMENT OF HON. EDWIN C. JOHNSON, UNITED STATES 
SENATOR PROM THE STATE OF COLORADO 

Senator Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your considera- 
tion. We had intended to testify tomorrow but the program was 
changed because of conflict, and since I have another committee meet- 
ing at 10 :30 this is about the only time that I will have an opportunity 
to appear. 

So I do appreciate, Mr. Chairman, the courtesy of the other wit- 
nesses for giving way to me and giving me this opportunity to say a 
few words at this time. I will try to be as brief as I can. 

We have three witnesses who have come from Colorado. They 
have come 2,000 miles to testify. They are men who have lived most 

62453—47 13 189 



190 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

all of their lives in this particular district, and their long trip here 
indicates their intense interest in the proposal. 

I wish to address myself to one part of Senate bill 912, on page 2, 
listing the districts to which S. 912 would apply. Among them we 
find the San Luis Valley project, Colorado. 

All parts of the bill would then apply to the San Luis Valley, the 
Conejos district. 

The purpose of S. 912, as you know, is stated in the preamble, exempt- 
ing certain projects from the land limitation provision of the Federal 
reclamation laws and repealing all inconsistent provisions of prior 
acts. 

The San Luis Valley in Colorado is located in the south central 
part of Colorado. It is what we call out in the mountains, "a 
mountain park." I think that we are very fortunate in haying as 
chairman of this committee a man who is very familiar with the 
mountain area and with high-altitude farming. 

Mr. Ecton comes from Montana and I am sure that we speak 
his language and I am very certain that he speaks our language. 

The San Luis Valley is probably an old lake bed. It is very 
level; it is 90 miles long and approximately 50 miles wide at its 
wider portion. It is surrounded by mountains from 10,000 to 14,000 
feet in height. 

Snow covers them most of the year. Perhaps in July the snow 
disappears and then returns again later in August. 

The general altitude in the San Luis Valley is 7,740 feet at its 
lowest point and 8,000 at its highest point. That is pretty high 
altitude for farming and I am sure that the chairman will under- 
stand that our season necessarily is very short. The season aver- 
ages from 90 to 100 days. I have seen light frosts in that valley — 
perhaps the chamber of commerce would not want me to say this, 
but I have seen light frosts occur there every month in the year, 
even in July. As the usual thing, however, our growing season 
is 90 days to 100 days in length. But that is a very short time and 
it restricts the farming. The farmers have been forced because of 
this short season to use power machinery — tractors and all the ma- 
chinery that goes with tractor farming — and of course you cannot 
use advantageously power machinery on small acreages. You have 
to have large acreages. You can farm two or three hundred acres 
with the same machinery that you would be using — if you used 
power machinery — as you would on a smaller acreage of maybe 160 
acres. 

Necessarily, too, this valley at its short season and its rigorous 
climate has made it adaptable to livestock farming. The farmers 
there run their livestock in the hills, the sheep and the cattle, and 
also in the mountains in the summertime and then bring them down 
to the ranches and feed them out with hay and grain during the 
winter months. 

Everyone in the West knows that you cannot operate a ranch, a 
stock ranch on 160 acres. It never has been done and it never will 
be done. It requires a large acreage for that sort of an operation. 

The people in this valley have had a great many handicaps in 
developing their irrigation water. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 191 

I want to say first that this valley was settled after the Mexican 
War, 10 years before the Civil War, and they have been farming 
there and raising stock since the 1850's. 

In the 1890's, the United States got into a controversy with Mexico 
over the waters of the Kio Grande. The Rio Grande drains this 
valley. The Rio Grande and its tributaries. 

The Rio Grande is an international stream and it is also an inter- 
state stream. It flows down through Colorado, New Mexico, and 
then forms the border, the boundary between Mexico and Texas. 

So it is an interstate stream and an international stream. In 
the 1890's. the United States and Mexico got into a controversy over 
the division of the waters. The Mexican people irrigated out of 
the Rio Grande and so did Texas. So, while that controversy was 
raging, the United States placed an embargo against the building 
of reservoirs in Colorado and in New Mexico on the Rio Grande 
and its tributaries. That controversy was more or less settled in 
1906 when the Elephant Butte Dam was built in New Mexico to 
supply water to Old Mexico, and to users on the lower Rio Grande 
River. 

However, the embargo was not lifted because the United States 
Government held that they could not permit reservoirs to hold back 
the water that was needed to fill the Elephant Butte Dam; and so the 
embargo continued until the year 1925, when it was finally lifted. 

However, at that time Colorado and New Mexico and Texas got 
into a controversy over the division of the water. Colorado had felt 
always that since the water was developed in her mountains that the 
water belonged to her for her development. But the Supreme Court 
ruled otherwise. The Supreme Court ruled that States along the 
river have a right to the water in the river, and so that controversy 
stepped in and we were still unable to build any reservoirs in Colorado 
because of the controversy between the States. 

That was finally composed — I think it was in 1937 or perhaps 1936, 
I have forgotten which — when a compact was entered into between 
these three States after the division of the water. 

We tried at that time to use some of the unemployment assistance 
that the United States was giving to find employment for its people 
in the WPA and PWA programs. We tried to use some of that money 
and build some reservoirs in that area at that time. 

The President, however, ruled that until the National Resources 
Board reported on that river that none of that money could be used, 
and so we were blocked again. The National Resources Board did 
finally — it took time, of course — make a survey and go into all the 
details which are necessary to make such a report, and it finally did 
make a report, and a very fine report, too, but by that time we were 
just about to go into World War II, and, of course, no construction 
of any kind could take place from that time on. 

Now, after the National Resources Board made their report the 
Reclamation Bureau became interested in this project out there, its 
possibilities, and they made surveys, and have finally developed for 
some years now a plan for reclaiming that area and for supplying 
water to it. 

However, we find now that we are blocked by this 160-acre limita- 
tion. As long as that limitation remains as part of the Reclamation 



192 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Bureau's plan this valley and the Conejos water district cannot take 
advantage of it. It is an absolute block. There is no possible way 
that we can use a reclamation project in that area with that limitation, 
because our agriculture is just not adapted to that size farm. I am 
sure that the chairman understands that fully. 

I might say that no water is going to be developed by this project. 
The reclamation plan to build a dam at Platoro — this dam would hold 
about 60,000 acre-feet of water, and it is not expected that it will 
always be filled and that the average amount that it would hold back 
would probably be 47,000 plus. 

Now, that water heretofore has been used in this way : The flood- 
waters occur in April and May and in early June, and the ditches are 
banked full. The waters run onto the land, even more water than the 
land can use, and it is just saturated with water. All the water is fed 
into the land that the land will take and, as I say, the subsoil there is 
a gravelly subsoil and it fills with water. The crops are planted and 
then later on when the ditch dries up, when the river goes down, the 
(] itches become pretty low and subsurface irrigation takes place. That 
is the way crops are produced there. It is an extravagant use of 
water ; it is not a good use of water, and all of the people there know 
that. The Reclamation people understand that, but the only cure for 
it is to build a storage dam which will hold back the floodwaters and 
let them be used during the dry season when they will do the most good, 
and not put more water on the land than the land can stand during 
the early part of the season. 

Now, that is the situation that we face. This dam is estimated to 
cost $3,750,000. Part of it, 40 percent of it, is allocated to flood con- 
trol and 60 percent of it is to be used or repaid, rather, by the water 
users and the people in this valley can very well afford to pay that 60 
percent provided we do not have this limitation in this bill which will 
drive out our large acreage ; the large farms there, of course, cannot 
possibly accept the provisions of this bill and they will have to drop 
out. And the little fellow cannot possibly go ahead with it because it 
will be just too much for him. But if the whole project can be kept 
in the district, the valley will take care of the payments promptly. 
It will be economically feasible to them ; it will be a good, sound finan- 
cial project all the way around. 

The Conejos irrigation district has been formed under Colorado 
statutes for the formation of a district, and in this statute we have a 
plan whereby an ad valorem tax may be placed on all the property in 
the district so the town people and the renters and everybody else 
participate in part of the repayments. It is a fine plan; we use that 
same plan in the Big Thompson, so that all of the costs do not fall on 
the farmer himself. Part of the cost — because many of the advantages, 
in fact, I think a larger portion of the advantages accrue to the man 
who is not farming — to the community in general — of course, if the 
(list rid is limited, at the time the district has to narrow down to the 
small-sized landholdings, then of course the ad valorem tax possibili- 
ties also narrow down and it makes the project entirely unfeasible. 

Now, there are some characteristics in this project that I do want to 
call to the subcommittee's attention. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 193 

First, there are no public lands in this district — not an acre of public 
land. All this land was taken up and settled way back in the early 
1850's, and the people who live there now are descendants of those 
people. There is no speculation in the land. It is high-altitude farm- 
ing and the land values, of course, have gone up with our inflation 
just as everything has gone up with inflation and the land values are 
a little higher now than they were prior to the war because of this 
inflation; but there is no rush in there to buy this land because of this 
project. 

As a matter of fact, the people have become very skeptical about the 
project. They have heard about it so much, the thing has been talked 
about so much and nothing has happened for so long that there is a 
great deal of skepticism, which, of course, is quite natural. 

Now, there is no corporation farming in the district either. The old 
descendants are descendants of the old settlers, and are still there and 
the country does not lend itself to corporation farming and there is no 
corporation farming. 

There is no control, either, of the underflow of water. That is, the 
water that is flooded out there on the land. It knows no boundaries; 
there is no control of it whatever and pumping is coming in more and 
more: pumping is being used extensively now and the large land- 
OAvners — if this plan goes through and this acreage restriction re- 
mains, then the large landowners could get the advantage of the water 
without paying 1 cent toward the project. 

I want to make it clear that all the water in the Conejos River — and 
the Conejos River is the principal tributary of the Rio Grande — all 
the water in the Conejos River has been filed upon by the settlers there 
and there is more land than there is water : so all of it is used, all of it is 
owned. The only difficulty is that it has to be used during flood times 
because they are compelled to go to the direct flow irrigation system. 
So what will happen if this restriction goes in, the large landowners 
will continue to flood their lands out of the river, which they have a 
perfect right to do — saturate their land — and then when the dry season 
comes on the} 7 will be able to pump, and if there is any water held back 
at Platoro they will get the advantage of that, too, without paying a 
cent for it ; and there is no way they can be compelled to remain in 
the district. They are in opposition themselves. They can get out if 
they want to and they will get out because they will be forced to get out. 
This restriction in the bill forces them to get out. I do not think of 
anything else that I need to say about it. As I say. we have brought 
these witnesses here from Colorado — people who have lived on the 
land a long time — and I would like to present now Dr. Harry C. 
Meyers, who lives at Antonito, and who has lived there a long time, 
and I want to say this about him : The conservancy district — I do not 
know that that is what it was called — was formed in 1925 when the 
embargo was lifted and he was president of that district. Of course, 
nothing could be clone about that because of the controversy between 
the States, but he is now the president of the conservancy district 
which is attempting to get this project approved. 

Senator Ectox. We will be glad to hear from you, Dr. Meyers. 



194 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

STATEMENT OF HAKRY C. MEYERS, PRESIDENT, CONEJOS WATER 
CONSERVANCY DISTRICT, ANTONITO, COLO. 

Mr. Meyers. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am 
Dr. H. C. Meyers and I live in Antonito, Colo. I am president of the 
Conejos Water Conservancy District and have been its president since 
the organization of the district in 1940. 

The Conejos Water Conservancy District is the successor to the 
Conejos Water Users Association, which was organized in 1925. I 
was president of the Water Users Association from 1925 until the 
organization of the conservancy district. 

I am a practicing dentist in Antonito. I own 420 acres of land 
in the district. The bulk of this has been in alfalfa and native hay. 
Recently because of my health and the press of my professional duties, 
I have contracted to sell all but 10 acres at a price of $50 per acre. 
This land has been mine and my wife's since 1916. The purchaser will 
use the land for farming and raising of livestock. He has not bought 
the land as a speculation. 

I have lived in Conejos County for 33 years and am familiar with 
conditions in the county. I have been active in the water users organ- 
izations and have worked hard for many years to help the district 
obtain a storage reservoir. The people in the district want a reservoir, 
but it is my firm conviction that for the Bureau of Reclamation's 
project to be successful, the district will have to be exempted from the 
160-acre limitations. 

The Conejos project is a unit of the authorized San Luis project of 
the Bureau of Reclamation. The plan of the Bureau is to construct 
what is called the Platoro Reservoir on the Conejos River. The 
Conejos River is the principal tributary in Colorado of the Rio Grande. 
The reservoir will have a capacity of approximately 60,000 acre-feet. 
The stored water will be available during times when the stream flows 
are not adequate to satisfy the irrigation needs of the district. 

The normal usable flow of the Conejos River is now over-appropri- 
ated. By that I mean that existing direct flow rights adjudicated 
under Colorado law exceed the flow of the stream. To provide water 
for storage in the reservoir the holders of these rights will volun- 
tarily have to forego diversions heretofore made during periods of 
flush flow. This water will then be stored in the reservoir. 

The Bureau of Reclamation project will not produce any new 
water. The Bureau is merely rendering a service whereby facilities 
are provided for the storage of water which is already appropriated. 
In this the project differs from projects where new water is made 
available to lands already irrigated. In the case of our project, the 
Bureau is rendering a service which will permit the regulation of 
water now appropriated. 

The Conejos project is not a new idea. The farmers of the area 
have endeavored to secure storage facilities for years. Until 1925 
this was prevented by the action of the United States in withdrawing 
reservoir and dam sites on public land from entry because of the 
situation arising from the dispute with Mexico over the use of Rio 
Grande water. This so-called embargo was removed in 1925. At 
about the same time the Conejos Water Users Association of which I 
Mas president was organized. Its efforts to obtain a reservoir met 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 195 

defeat because of a dispute between the States of Texas, New Mexico, 
and Colorado over the division of the waters of the Rio Grande. 
After an interstate compact apportioning stream flows was signed in 
1938, the Bureau of Reclamation made its report on the project. 
Progress has since been delayed by war conditions. 

The Conejos area is located in the San Luis Valley of Colorado at 

. an elevation of 7,700 feet. The average rainfall is less than 7 inches. 

The average growing season is 97 to 99 days. Water for irrigation 

is obtained from the Conejos River and its tributaries. The first 

settlers were Spanish- Americans who came to the area in the 1850's. 

Substantial settlements of Americans were made in the 20 years 
which followed. There is now no Federal public land in the district. 
The present farmers are largely the descendants of the early settlers. 
The size of the farms has been determined by 70 years of farming 
experience under the particular conditions which exist in the area. 

The principal crops grown are native hay, alfalfa, small grains, 
peas, potatoes, and sugar beets. Most of the successful farmers engage 
in stock raising — cattle, sheep, and hogs. The natural conditions re- 
quire definite planned crop rotation, heavy capital investments in farm- 
ing equipment, and annual expenditures for land leveling and ditch 
maintenance. All of these factors require for successful operations 
farms of a size greater than 150 acres. 

The Conejos district contains a few large tracts used in livestock 
operations. It is desirable to retain these tracts in the district. 
Under Colorado law the district may levy an ad valorem tax as a 
source of revenue to pay reservoir construction charges. If these 
lands are eliminated from the district, as they probably will be if the 
land limitations apply, a profitable source of revenue is made unavail- 
able to the district. 

The board of directors of the Conejos district has adopted a resolu- 
tion urging the passage of S. 912. This resolution sets forth reasons 
why, in the opinion of the board, the land-limitation provisions 
should not apply to the Conejos district. I respectfully ask that this 
resolution be made a part of record of this hearing. 

Senator Ecton. The resolution may be inserted in the record at 
this point. 

(The resolution referred to is as follows :) 

KESOLTJTTON 

Whereas the United States Bureau of Reclamation has submitted to the board 
of directors of Conejos ^Water Conservancy District its tentative plans for the 
construction of the Platoro Reservoir as a part of the stage development of the 
Conejos unit of the San Euis Valley project, Colorado ; and 

Whereas the board of directors is favorable to contracting with the Bureau 
for the construction of the Platoro Reservoir if the existing pattern of land owner- 
ship within the district can be maintained ; and 

Whereas the board firmly believes that the land-limitation provisions of the 
Federal reclamation laws cannot be satisfactorily or effectively applied or enforced 
to the San Luis Valley project because — 

1. The natural conditions in the area, such as high altitude, short growing 
season, and abrupt seasonal transitions, require methods of farming that are 
adapted to and successful under a pattern of land ownership that has been 
developed by the play of economic forces over a 70-year period ; 

2. The natural conditions require crop rotations and capital investments which 
are not feasible on 160-acre and smaller farms ; 



196 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

3 Considerable acreage in the district is devoted to a livestock economy which 
cannot exist In the high Colorado mountains on acreages of 160 acres or less; 
' 4 The soil and water conditions are such that the service of reregulation of 
water which will be furnished by the Platoro Reservoir will be available through 
increased return flows and higher water table to all lands, whether or not limited 
to 160 acres, and hence if the limitations apply the nonparticipating water users 
will receive a benefit without adequate payment therefor ; 

5. If the land limitations are made to apply to the district, the owners of many 
large rracr< will in all probability seek the exclusion of such tracts from the 
district : and if such lands Is excluded, the district will lose the ad valorem tax 
which it is authorized to impose, and thus will have a smaller source from which 
id repay the United States; 

Whereas for the reasons mentioned above the board is of the opinion that the 
people of the district will not approve a repayment contract for the Platoro 
Reservoir if the Bureau seeks to apply and enforce the land-limitation provisions : 
Now. therefore, be it 

Resolved, That the exemption of the San Luis Valley project from the land- 
limitation provisions of the reclamation laws is essential to the success of the 
project ; be it further 

Resolved, That the board favors the prompt passage of S. 912, now pending 
before the Congress of the United States ; and be it further 

Resolved, That H. C. Meyers, James Reed, and John Brady, directors of the 
district, and Jean S. Breitenstein. attorney for the district, be, and they hereby 
are, authorized and directed to appear before the appropriate congressional com- 
mittees on behalf of the district for the purpose of urging the exemption of the 
San Luis Valley project from the land-limitation provisions of the Federal 
reclamation laws. 

State of Colorado. 

County of Conejos, ss: 
We, Harry C. Meyers, president, and C. S. Birkins, secretary, of Conejos 
Water Conservancy District, do hereby certify the above and foregoing to be a 
full. true, and correct copy of a resolution adopted by the board of directors of 
Conejos Water Conservancy District at a meeting held on the 28th day of April 
A. D. 1947. 

President, 
Conejos Water Conservancy District. 
An. 

Secretary. 
Conejos Water Conservancy District. 

Senator Johnson. If there are any questions, I know Dr. Meyers 
will be glad to answer them. He is up there in the State legislature 
and has been up there a couple of terms, and he knows his way around; 
so if you have any questions to ask him. I am sure he has the answers 
to them. 

Senator Ectox. Is this land all owned by private individuals? 

Mr. Meyp:r. Yes. There is no public land in the district. 

Senator Ecton. And do they irrigate it at the present time through 
their own system and especially by flood waters? 

Mr. Meyers. Yes; there are some 100 ditches which appropriate 
water from the river and it is all flood. It is a matter of regulation 
of water; there is no new water. It is just a matter of trying to get 
some help to extend the use of water. We are not asking for any ap- 
propriations. The appropriations have been made and carried over. 

Senator Ectox. If the limitations were removed, would every 
fanner in this area come under this project \ 

Mr. Meyers. Well, we will have to have an election, but this is one 
of the hurdles we have to take in order to present this to the farmer. 
This is the objection that the farmers have. There have been no 
other objections to other parts of the project. This is the exception. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 197 

Senator Ecton. Without the removal of this limitation, they are 
not interested? 

Mr. Meyers. I doubt very much if we will build a reservoir if we 
cannot remove this limitation. 

Senator Ecton. Thank you. ^ 

Who is the next witness? 

Senator Johnson. Mr. Brady comes from Manassa, and you may 
remember that Manassa was made famous by the "Manassa Mauler," 
Jack Dempsey; that is his home town. Mr. Brady is not coming 
here slugging with fists but he does pack a wallop in his testimony. 
So, Mr. Brady, if you will go ahead. 

I might say, Mr. Chairman, that Mr. Brady has lived there all 
his life and he has lived a long, long time. 

STATEMENT OF JOHN F. BRADY, MEMBER OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS 
OF CONEJOS WATER CONSERVANCY DISTRICT, MANASSA, COLO. 

Mr. Brady. Mr. Chairman, my name is John F. Brady. I live at 
Manassa, Colo. I have been a member of the board of directors of 
Conejos Conservancy District since 1941. I am appearing here in 
support of S. 912 at the direction of the board of directors of the 
Conejos district pursuant to a resolution of that board, urging the 
passage of S. 912 so that the San Luis Valley project of Colorado 
may be exempted from the land-limitation provisions of the Federal 
reclamation laws. The Conejos Water Conservancy District was or- 
ganized as an agency to contract with the Secretary of the Interior 
for the construction of the Conejos unit of the San Luis Valley project. 

I have lived in Conejos County, Colo., for GO years. I own and 
operate a 260-acre farm in the Conejos district. Two hundred acres 
are cultivated irrigated land and 60 acres are meadowland. I receive 
my irrigation water from the Manassa Land & Irrigation Co., a 
mutual ditch company organized under Colorado law. 

I have been farming in Conejos County for over 35 years and dur- 
ing all that time I have farmed approximately the same amount of 
land that I am farming now. 

I have been on my present place for over 15 years. In my opinion 
I could not carry on my operations .successfully on any less land. 

I think my operations are about average for the successful farmers 
in the district. Some have more land than I do and some have less. 

To operate my farm successfully, I rotate my crops regularly. First, 
I have several years of alfalfa, followed by a year of potatoes, then a 
year of sugar beets, then a year of small grain, then a year of sweet- 
clover, then a year of grain, then back to alfalfa again. 

I have at least $10,000 invested in farming machinery to operate my 
place. This equipment consists of tractors, drill, 32- foot land leveler, 
stackers, trucks, mowing machines, and other like equipment. It costs 
me over $600 a year to level land and repair laterals. I run 150 head 
of cattle, which I pasture for 7 months of the year on my farm. The 
other 5 months the cattle are run on forest reserve land and 800 acres 
of private land which I lease in the nearby mountains. 

The land in the Conejos district is at an altitude of 7,700 feet above 
sea level. Irrigation is absolutely necessary. The climate is such that 
the planting season and the harvesting season are very short. A lot 



198 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

of hard work has to be done in a hurry to get the crops in and to get 
them to market. 

In my district the farmers are almost entirely the descendants of 
the original settlers. There have been very few newcomers during 
the last 35 years. 

I know of no land speculation in the district. In my opinion, the 
value of land in the district runs from $25 to $70 per acre for irrigated 
land with no improvements except fence. The water rights are im- 
portant in determining the value of such land. Land with improve- 
ments, such as buildings, brings from $70 to $100 per acre. During 
the past year I have purchased 80 acres of unimproved land within 
the district at $65 per acre. I know of no land that has been pur- 
chased with the idea that the proposed reservoir construction would 
result in an increase in the price of the land. 

I do not know of any company farming in the district. The farmers 
are people who make their homes on the farms or in the small villages 
in the district and carry on their individual operations. 

In my opinion, it will be wholly impracticable to apply the land 
limitation provisions of the reclamation laws to the Conejos area. 

The Conejos people have wanted a reservoir for many years so that 
water may be available in the early spring before the flush run-off 
starts and in the later summer when the flows are low. Such addi- 
tional water is badly needed. This additional water will bring about 
increased flows and a higher water table. Such advantages will be 
common to the whole area. 

There is no way of restricting them to people who own 150-acre 
tracts or smaller. In order to be fair to the landowners, it is necessary 
that there be no restriction of the size of the farms to 160 acres. 

I have talked to many of the farmers in the district about the 160- 
acre limitations in the reclamation laws. All with whom I have talked 
agree with me that the reservoir construction project which is pro-" 
posed by the Bureau of Keclamation will not be acceptable to the 
people of the district unless the district is exempted from the land 
limitation provisions. 

Senator Ecton. Thank you, Mr. Brady. 

Senator Johnson. Now I want to present Mr. J. A. Keed, of San- 
ford, Colo., also in the Conejos district. Mr. Keed is an experienced 
farmer who has lived down there a long time and knows the conditions 
thoroughly from A to Z and Z to A, backward and forward. 

Mr. Reed. 

Senator Ecton. You may proceed, Mr. Reed. 

STATEMENT OF JAMES A. REED, MEMBER 0E BOARD OF DIRECTORS 
OF CONEJOS WATER CONSERVANCY DISTRICT, SANF0RD, COLO. 

Mr. Reed. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I live 
2 miles east of Sanford, Colo., and in the Conejos Water Conservancy 
District. I have been a member of the board of directors of the dis^ 
trict since its organization in 1940. I appear before this committee 
in support of S. 912 in accordance with a resolution of the board of 
directors of the Conejos Water Conservancy District urging the 
passage of S. 912 so that the San Luis Vallev project may be exempted 
from the land-limitation provisions of the 'reclamation' laws. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 199 

I was born in Conejos Count} 7 and have lived in the county for 59 
years. For 23 years I was the manager of the Norton ranch. The 
Norton ranch is the largest ranch in the district. It raises much forage 
feed for large herds of cattle and hogs. 

I left the Norton ranch in 1945 and am now operating a 411-acre 
farm in the district which is the center of my present operations. I 
own additional land outside of the district. Some of this land was 
excluded from the district by the former owner upon the theory that 
it would obtain no benefit from the proposed reservoir construction. 
I think this man made a mistake in having the land excluded from the 
district and I would like to have it back in. 

In my farming operations I have over $20,000 invested in farming 
equipment which consists of such things as four tractors, two trucks, 
complete hay outfit, and complete outfit for row crops. For the 
present year I am spending about $2,100 for leveling land, repairing 
ditches. This type of work is necessary each year but the annual 
expense varies. 

I run 163 head of cattle and 130 head of hogs. My principal crops 
are garden peas, field peas, barley, clover, oats, and native grass. 
Successful operations require the rotation of crops. My experience 
in the area is that successful farming and livestock operations cannot 
be carried on in the district on 160-acre farms. 

The reason I say this is that the costs of operation are high because 
of the expensive "equipment that is required. The cost of such equip- 
ment per acre does not decrease proportionately with a decrease in the 
number of acres. 

The Conejos district is at a high altitude. There is very little rain- 
fall. My experience is that the growing season averages 97 days. 
With such a short season a farmer must be well-equipped and must 
work hard in order to grow crops successfully. 

I have several reasons why the 160-acre limitation will not work in 
the Conejos district. First, 160 acres will not produce enough feed 
to justify a man in running cattle because he would have to run such 
a small number. Second, a man cannot afford to own enough equip- 
ment to properly handle his land if he is restricted to 160 acres. 
Third, the season is so short and the water supply is so limited that 
but one crop a year can be produced. Fourth, on many farms much 
of the land is in river bottoms, sloughs, and so forth, and cannot be 
tilled. 

Fifth, if the 160-acre limitation is in effect neighboring people who 
own more land will receive a lot of benefit through seepage and a 
higher water table so that they would have better subirrigation and 
an easier time in getting water through pumping. 

Sixth. 160 acres is too small because the farmer has to have pasture 
for cattle, sheep or hogs and it makes the acreage too small for the 
production of small grains such as will grow in this climate and alti- 
tude in the short season which we have. 

Seventh, part of the land in the district is not suitable for potatoes 
or row crops. 

From the talks which I have had with people in the district I feel 
that it will not be worth while at all to talk about the reservoir if the 
160-acre limitations apply. 



200 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

I believe that the people are very anxious to have the reservoir pro- 
vided they do not have to cut down their land holdings. I have talked 
to a lot of people who own less than 160 acres but do not want the reser- 
voir if the size of holdings is to be limited to 160 acres. 

I do not know of any land speculation in the district. Most of the 
farmers in the district are old-timers. In the last 20 years there have 
been very few land sales. I know of very little land if any that is for 
sale in my neighborhood. Where I live more of the people are in- 
terested in livestock raising than in anything else. 

The Conejos area requires a storage reservoir in order to balance the 
farming and livestock operations. The people in the area have tried 
for many years to get such a reservoir. We who have lived and farmed 
in the area all our lives know that even if the reservoir is obtained 
successful operations cannot be conducted on 160-acre tracts. There- 
fore, to make our project a success it is necessary that our project be 
exempted from the land limitation provisions of the reclamation laws. 

Senator Johnson. That ends our testimony except for what Mr. 
Breitenstein wants to put in the record. 

Mr. Breitenstein. I will do that next week. 

Mr. Reed. One other point that I wanted to mention before we go 
on is that in a community property State the Reclamation Bureau 
recognizes that the farmer may own 160 acres and his wife may own 
160 acres. Colorado is not fortunate enough to be, or not wise enough 
to be a community property State and so, of course, we do not get 
that advantage that Texas and some of the other States have with 
respect to community property. 

Senator Johnson. That ends our testimony and we are very grate- 
ful to the committee and the other witnesses for giving way to us for 
our convenience. 

Senator Ecton. Thank you, Senator, we appreciate your coming, 
all of you. 

All right, gentlemen, I believe our next witness is William E. 
Warne, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation. 

STATEMENT OF WILLIAM E. WARNE, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, 
BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

Mr. Warne. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

My name is William E. Warne, Assistant Commissioner of the Bu- 
reau of Reclamation. My testimony, sir, will be directed primarily at 
the land speculation matters that are involved in this proposed legis- 
lation. 

I, like Commissioner Straus, have deep regret that I am here in 
opposition to something proposed by my good friend, Senator Downey, 
senior Senator from California, and Senator Knowland. My State is 
California and I feel a great interest in the matters of the State. I 
have followed them for more than a decade — nearly 15 years — very 
closely the development and planning for this Central Valley project, 
which in my estimation is one of the great projects that our Govern- 
ment will undertake in this field of water conservation. It is a mat- 
ter of moving a river or a water supply from the north, where the 
water is plentiful, to the south where it is deficient in a way that is 
expected to and I feel confident will provide the security. for at least 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 201 

one of the major agricultural areas of the United States, the San Joa- 
quin Valley. It sets a pattern which holds great promise for similar 
developments in the future and that will lead, I think without ques- 
tion, to the complete utilization of the waters of the Central Valley and 
of the related streams, and will bring a great future to the entire State 
of California. 

Mr. Chairman, it is the land speculation controls of the present 
act and their repeal, which is proposed in S. 912, that will be the sub- 
ject of my testimony. S. 912 says in section 1 (d) that the term "land 
limitation provisions shall mean all provisions of the Federal reclama- 
tion laws" relating to four subjects, one of them appearing on page 2, 
line 5, "(a) relating to appraisal and sale of private lands held in ex- 
cess of such limitations." In section 2 the bill, S. 912, says that the 
land limitation provisions shall not apply to any private lands, and 
section 3 says that S. 912 shall apply specifically to the San Luis Valley 
project in Colorado, the valley gravity canal project in Texas, and the 
Central Valley projects in California. Section 4 says that any and all 
acts or parts of acts in conflict with the provisions of S. 912 "are hereby 
repealed." Taken together, this language is intended to and would 
erase the land speculation control provisions of the reclamation law as 
they apply to privately owned land in the San Luis Valley project, the 
valley gravity canal project, and the Central Valley project. 

Mr. Chairman, we have had experience in the past with and specu- 
lation on reclamation projects. As a matter of fact, some of the wit- 
nesses — I recall that Professor Harding spoke of speculation on the 
Tieton Division of the Yakima project, when he was resident engineer 
there many years ago. 

Senator Ecton. Was there any public land under that project, Mr. 
Warne ? 

Mr. Warne. It was largely private land but some public land and 
as I shall develop here, in the very early days there was also speculation 
in public lands on reclamation projects. 

Seldom did the first settlers in the land boom era receive the benefits 
of Government expenditures on irrigation. Speculators who bought 
the land before it was irrigated made fortunes instead. 

The settler was the victim. He paid the speculator a price which 
not only included the value that the Government had added by the 
construction of irrigation works, but often the value that the settler 
himself would have to add by patient husbandry over the years. On 
top of that he borrowed the money for the purchase from the bank 
at 10 percent interest. 

The farmer, who could not figure out how he had been hoodwinked, 
staggered under the load for a few years and went down. The next 
man who attempted to carry the obligations fastened upon the land 
often went down also. They could not understand how the Govern- 
ment could be so hard as to press for repayment of the money it had 
invested for them in the irrigation project, and they sent their spokes- 
men to camp on the trails of the Congress, seeking relief. 

Looking backward, it is clear that nothing could be more damaging 
to the reclamation program today than again to unleash destructive 
land speculation on Federal irrigation projects by repealing the land 
limitations of the reclamation laws. 



202 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Speculation plagued reclamation for 20 years after the act was 
passed in 1902. The framers of the Reclamation Act thought that 
they had found an adequate way of dealing with the speculation prob- 
lem when they inserted the acreage limitation provision. After hard 
experience and a series of investigations, more effective speculation 
controls were added, but still they were entwined wuth the acreage re- 
strictions. 

A number of boards of inquiry, appointed by Secretaries of the 
Interior and by the Congress, and one committee after another of the 
Congress itself investigated. They found that speculation brought 
disaster to the actual settlers on project land, jeopardized the Federal 
investment in the projects, and delayed the orderly settlement of the 
projects. As a result, through the years, the, Congress. added provi- 
sions calculated to put teeth into the control of speculation in project 
lands. For more than 20 years these controls have proved effective. 
Their removal now, when a number of large projects are nearing com- 
pletion, would invite disaster. 

So far as they involve speculation controls, efforts to repeal the land 
limitations of the reclamation laws do not grow out of any clash of 
agrarian theories with regard to the proper size of holdings, but 
rather they spring directly from the age-old desire to get something 
for nothing. 

The fight on speculation — the history of the fight against specula- 
tion in reclamation project lauds, reveals why the Congress has written 
safeguards into the law. To state the problem, I quote Senator Carl 
Hayden, of Arizona, during the hearings of the Committee on Irriga- 
tion and Reclamation on the fact finding bill, H. R. 8836 and H. R. 
9611, during May 1924. 

The United States had had 22 years of reclamation experience at 
that time. After a score of years of operation under the present, 
satisfactory law, the memory dims of what the experience with specu- 
lation had been. Senator Hayden, then a Member of the House of 
Representatives, in summary said : 

It has been the history of every project up to this date — the year 1924 — that 
somebody realizes when a land boom is coming and buys land as cheaply as it 
can be obtained. He does not intend to cultivate it and he does not cultivate it, 
but waits until about the time the water is supplied, and then he can paint 
a beautiful picture, the water is going to be provided, and the desert is going to 
blossom and bloom like a rose, and he sells it. And who comes on? The actual 
farmer to whom the United States must look for a return, and we have had 
around this table year after year the water users complaining that they could 
not meet their charges and that the Government was a harsh creditor. They 
never realized it, but when we came to analyze their private finances we in- 
variably found that they owed $4 to somebody else for every dollar they owed 
to the United States. 

And I interrupt the quotation to note that year after year the settlers 
who were the people for whom the projects had been built and who 
were the victims of the speculators, besieged the Congress seeking 
relief from their construction charges. Representatives and Senators 
have been spared that since 1926. The door should not again be opened 
to speculation that caused it then. 

Senator Hayden continued, and I quote him: 

You ask one of those men, "What is your financial situation?", and he will tell 
you, "I came into the project when it was about to be opened, and I paid $200 an 
acre for Irrigable land, and that was about the price for land at that time, and I 
paid $50 down and have a mortgage for $150 more at 8 percent." 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 203 

His construction charge may be $50 or $60 an acre on which he has no interest 
to pay, and the principal spread out over 20 years, and it does not amount to 
but about one-fifth of his debt or his immediate obligations, yet he is asking to 
be relieved from the mortgage and to whom he paid this fancy price for the land. 

This review of the problem of speculation in project lands will : 

1. Sketch the story of disastrous speculation in project lands during 
the first decades of reclamation. 

2. Show how this brought disaster on the bona fide settlers and 
created difficulties for the Bureau of Reclamation in recovering Fed- 
eral funds invested in the projects and in collecting annual operation 
and maintenance costs. 

3. Point out how Congress put teeth into the law in 1926 and show 
how successfully those measures have operated. 

4. Disclose how removal of the antispeculation provisions in the 
law would lead directly to the insolvency of projects now under con- 
struction, and 

5. Finally, give a measure of the monetary benefits extended to land- 
owners by the Central Valley project to indicate why speculation is 
still a danger. 

Senator Ecton. May I ask, Mr. Warne, if you have taken into con- 
sideration the difference in the periods of our agricultural history, the 
period that you referred to as being prior to 1926, which was not 
mechanized agriculture? From there on, agriculture started to be- 
come mechanized, and I wondered if you have taken that feature into 
consideration in drawing your conclusions. 

Mr. Warne. Well, insofar as the speculative activity and the land 
prices are concerned, I do not believe that the advent of mechanization 
has made a great difference except, perhaps, to reduce the cost of land 
leveling somewhat. 

Senator Ecton. You misunderstand me. It would not make any 
difference as to the original cost of land but it would make a great 
deal of difference, it seems to me, in the kind and type of settlers that 
you might get on this land. 

Now, back in the early 1920's, a fellow could start out and be a 
farmer if he could get control of land. That is all he needed; and 
then he could build up, buy a team of horses, start in from there and 
make his own development. But in order for a man to start farming 
in this period and age of our agricultural history, he does not start 
that way. He has to start with practically a complete set of mechan- 
ized equipment the day that he moves on the farm or he is sunk. That 
is the angle that I wondered if you had taken into consideration. 

Mr. Warne. Well, the law of 1924—26 — I have forgotten which, pro- 
vides that the Secretary of the Interior — a duty that has devolved 
upon the Bureau of Reclamation under the act, may and shall require 
showings by prospective settlers on public land of financial ability to 
handle the farming program that they are to undertake ; and that has 
been interpreted as meaning either cash or farm machinery and equip- 
ment, and I can say that insofar as the public lands are concerned, I 
believe that that has been taken into consideration in these more recent 
years. 

Senator Ecton. I think we can agree that perhaps Congress and the 
Bureau of Reclamation have tightened up on it, but at the same time 



204 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 



I do not think we should lose sight of the fact that we are dealing with 
a different period in our agricultural history when most agriculture 
was starting to become mechanized. 

Mr. Warne. Well, I can remember when the first tractor came on 
our farm. It made quite a difference. Someone had to know how to 
adjust the carburetor on it which you did not have to do on a horse. 

Senator Ecton. And the first tractors that we had were not suc- 
cessful. They did not become successful until the latter part of the 
1920's. 

Mr. Warne. Away back in 1913 the Reclamation Service became 
alarmed by wild land speculation on the 25 projects which it had 
initiated up to that time. Project engineers and managers were asked 
to report what the value of unimproved land had been prior to con- 
struction of each project and what that same unimproved land was 
being sold for in 1913 at that time of the survey. The results of that 
survey are shown on table I, which I submit here for the record. 

Senator Ectox. Without objection, the table will be inserted in the 
record at this point. 

(The table referred to follows:) 

Table I. — Increase in value of unimproved land on Bureau of Reclamation 
projects from date of beginning construction to August 1913, by projects 1 





Value of unimproved land 


I rrigable 

acreage of 

project in 

1909 


Date con 
struction 
began 


Project 


Before con- 
struction 


As of 1913 


Percent 

increase by 

1913 


Region I: 

Boise . . . .. ... .. 


$11.25 
2.00 
5.00 
10.00 
32.50 
2.75 

29.00 
10.00 

17.50 
17.50 

11.50 
6.00 
10.50 

17.50 
25.00 
10.00 

7.00 

4.00 

12.50 

10.00 

10.00 

11.00 

4.00 

1.25 

5.00 


$47. 50 
32.50 
50.00 

250.00 
75.00 

150.00 

110.00 
40.00 

92.50 
67.50 

40.00 
12.50 
45.00 

62.50 
67.50 
20.00 

36.00 
18.00 
25.00 
17.50 
20.00 
32.50 
35.00 
62.50 
40.00 


322 
1,525 

900 
2,400 

130 
5,390 

279 
300 

440 
291 

239 
108 
328 

257 
170 
100 

414 
350 
100 
75 
200 
195 
775 
5,000 
700 


30, 000 
132; 000 

20, 240 

10, 000 
100, 000 

34,000 

14, 000 
30,908 

240,000 
90,160 

140, 000 

206,000 

53, 000 

175,000 
20,073 
10,000 

138,000 

28,835 

251, 906 

16, 397 

63,603 

12, 097 

100,000 

131,900 

129,239 


1906 




1904 


Umatilla 


1906 


Ikanogan .. 


1906 


Yakima (Sunnvside) . 


1906 


Yakima (Tieton)... . 


1907 


Region II: 

Orland 


1908 


Klamath . 


1906 


Region III: 

Salt River.. 


1903 


Yuma 


1905 


Region IV: 

rncompahsrre ... . . 


1904 


Newlands (Truckee-Carson)... 


1903 


Qrand Valley ... 


1912 


Region V: 

Rio Grande 


1906 


Carlsbad 


1906 


Hondo .. ... 


1904 


Region VI: 

Flathead (Indian) 


1907 


Huntley 


1906 


Milk River 


1906 


Sun River 


1906 


Lower Yellowstone 


1905 


North Dakota pumping (Williston) ... 
Belle Fourche 


1906 
1905 


Shoshone ... 


1904 


Region VII: North Platte 


1905 






Weighted average increase . 






759.2 






Total acreage 






2, 177, 358 















Data taken from replies by project managers to circular letter No. 152, dated Aug. 13, 1913. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 



205 



Mr. Wabne. It shows that as of 1913 the average price of unim- 
proved land had increased by 759.2 percent on the 25 projects studied. 
This tremendous increase in the price of land took place quickly. For 
11 of the projects, only 7 years had elapsed since construction began. 
Two other projects had been in existence only 6 years ; another for 5 
years : and another only 1 year. For four others, 8 years had elapsed ; 
and another four had been started 9 years before the survey was made. 
Only two projects had had a life of 10 years at that time. 

Speculation varied considerably from project to project. On the 
Tieton division of the Yakima project. Washington, the prices of 
unimproved land increased by almost 5.400 percent : on the Mmidoka 
project, 1,525 percent: on the Okanogan project, Washington. 2.400 
percent, and on the Shoshone project, Wyoming. 5,000 percent. 

What was happening to the value of land that was not affected by 
Federal expenditures for irrigation and reclamation in these same 
States ? I should like to insert in the record here the facts with regard 
to this which are shown in table II. 

Senator Ecton. Without objection table II will be included in the 
record at this point. 

(The table referred to follows :) 

NON-PROJECT LAND VALUES, 1905-13 

What was happening to the value of land that was not affected by Federal 
expenditures for irrigation and reclamation in these same States? I should like 
to insert in the record here the facts with regard to this which are shown in 
table II, as follows. 

Table II. — Value per acre of all land in farms, 1905 to 1913 



State 


11 Western States 


Percent 
increase, 


1905 


1910 


1911 


1912 


1913 


1913 over 
1905 


Montana 


$7.76 
20.92 

7.28 
16.59 

6.74 
10.35 
18.00 

9.37 
22.94 
18.65 
30.65 


$18. 58 
46.38 
11.46 
30.19 
9.92 
37.93 
34.60 
14.59 
48.84 
38.99 
51.93 


$18. 86 
46.15 
11.51 
29.88 
9.62 
36.56 
34.31 
15.72 
49.76 
39. 75 
56.50 


$19. 10 
45.93 
11.55 
29. 5o 
9.32 
35.21 
34.02 
16.83 
50.74 
40.50 
60.98 


$19. 38 
45.65 
12.14 
30.19 
9.21 
33.84 
34.00 
18.10 
51. 53 
41.25 
64.50 


149.7 


Idaho.. . . 


118.2 


Wyoming . . " 


66.8 


Colorado 


82.0 


New Mexico .... . . _. 


36.6 


Arizona _ 


227.0 


Utah 


88.9 


Nevada... .. .. . .. . 


93.2 


Washington ... 


124.6 


Oregon ... . 


121.2 


California . . . 


110.4 






Average increase 












110.8 

















Table II shows that from 1905 to 1913 the value of all land in farms in the 11 
Western States increased by only 110.8 percent, compared to the dizzy heights 
reached on the reclamation projects. The greatest increases in values of land 
occurred in the States of Arizona, Montana, and "Washington, where they 
amounted to 227, 150 and 125 percent, respectively. In New Mexico, the increase 
was as low as 37 percent during this same 8-year period. 

These data prove that speculators were cashing in on the Government's 
expenditures for irrigation projects. 



THE SETTLER WAS THE VICTIM 

This was the era when the deprecating remark gained currency that "it takes 

three crops of settlers to make a successful irrigation project." Nearly every 

one of the original settlers who bought into projects at such inflated prices found 

it impossible to make a go of it. There is a great difference in the real worth of 

62453—47 14 



206 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

unimproved, dry land and that of developed, irrigated land, but the difference is 
made up of two principal elements. One of these is the labor of the settler who 
must construct his farm ditches, clear and level his land, and plant and raise his 
first crop. The other is the construction cost of the project which is charged' 
against the land, and, although the terms are generous, must, nevertheless, be 
repaid to the United States. The settler who bought in at boom prices found he 
still had these two factors against him, although often he had paid prices that 
were as high as a debt-free, improved, irrigated farm should bring. 

Mr. Wabne. Table II shows that from 1905 to 1913, the same period 
shown in table I, the value of all land in farms in the 11 Western States 
increased by only 110.8 percent, compared to the dizzy heights reached 
on many of the reclamation projects. The greatest increases in values 
of nonreclaimed land occurred in the States of Arizona, Montana, and 
Washington, where they mounted to 227 percent, 150 percent, and 125 
percent, respectively. In New Mexico, the increase was as low as 37 
percent during this same 8-year period. 

These data prove that speculators .were cashing in on the Govern 
ment's expenditures for irrigation projects. 

This was the era when the deprecating remark gained currency that 
"it takes three crops of settlers to make a successful irrigation project." 
Nearly every one of the original settlers who bought into projects at 
such inflated prices found it impossible to make a go of it. 

There is a great difference in the real worth of unimproved, dry 
land and that of developed, irrigated land, but the difference is made 
up of two principal factors. One of these is the labor of the settler 
who must construct his farm ditches, clear and level his land, and plant 
and raise his first crop. The other is the value of the water in increas- 
ing productivity which is partially reflected in the construction cost 
of the project charged against the land, and, although the terms are 
generous, must, nevertheless, be repaid to the United States. The 
settler who bought in at boom prices found he still had these two 
factors against him, although often he had paid prices for unimproved 
land that were as high as a debt-free, improved, irrigated land should 
bring. 

The experience of those early days demonstrated that it is not 
enough simply to place a limit on the amount of land for which any 
one landowner might receive water. When that fact had been ade- 
quately demonstrated, the Congress added in 1926 the antispeculation 
teeth to the law. The factors contributing to the speculation are now 
clear. 

On public land, almost as soon as surveys were commenced in an 
area, it would become known that a Federal reclamation project, per- 
haps involving the expenditure of millions of dollars, was in the offing. 
Immediately, filings would begin on public lands for homesteads, even 
though everyone knew that it might be years before the irrigation 
water could be delivered. 

It was a frailty, later corrected, of the original act of 1902 that, 
although the public lands could be withdrawn for reclamation pur- 
pose-, the law did not at the same time prevent the filing for home- 
steads. Premature entry and settlement occurred, largely by those 
bent on speculation. 

The minority report of the Senate Committee on the Irrigation of 
Arid Lands in 1911, which looked into this problem, and the Director 
of the Reclamation Service, in his eleventh annual report, pointed out 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 207 

that homesteaders were frequently settlers, or to the Government, 
which often had to purchase rights-of-way through the same lands for 
canals after the surveys that touched off the boom had been completed. 
These relinquishments were sold as high as $100 an acre and more, 
though the lands remained dry. 

Thus the second comers to the project lands, who were the real 
farmers, had terrible burdens. Not only must they clear and level 
the land and prepare the soil, while building their nouses and barns, 
and not only had they to pay for the construction of the works, but 
they also had to shoulder the burden of paying from 8 to 12 percent 
interest, in those days, on the unearned increment in the inflated prices 
which the speculators had charged for the land. Many such settlers, 
in fact, lost their farms to the third comers to the land, thus giving color 
to the "three-crop" derision. 

As a result, the Congress in the act of May 25, 1910 (36 Stat. 836), 
section 5, provided that no entry should be thereafter made and no 
entryman permitted to go upon lands reserved for irrigation purposes 
until the unit of acreage per farm unit and water charges and date 
of delivery had been fixed and publicly announced. 

In addition, the Bureau of Reclamation, under powers still later con- 
ferred, has devised methods for selecting the settlers on public lands 
so as to preclude those whose sole interest might be that of land 
speculation. 

Today there is no speculation in public lands of the projects. 

Senator Downey. Of course, there would not be any on any of these 
three projects, Mr. Warne. 

Mr. Warne. No, sir ; not on public lands. 

Senator Downey. And practically all your discussion so far has had 
reference to projects in which the Bureau of Reclamation and the 
Government allowed the public lands to be turned loose in this orgy 
of speculation that you have described. 

Mr. Warne. That is not true, sir. As I shall show in a moment, 
more than half of all the lands were privately owned at the time these 
projects were authorized and two-thirds by the time water was ready 
for delivery. 

Senator Downey. Which was a most unhappy situation, undoubt- 
edly. 

Mr. Warne. Yes, it was. 

Senator Downey. We are agreed to that, certainly. 

Mr. Warne. Now, the Reclamation Act of 1902 provides for the 
irrigation of both public and private lands. At first, it was believed 
that mainly public domain would be involved. At the very outset, 
however, the advantages of the areas where part of the land was 
already in private ownership were vigorously pressed and, in many 
instances, these locations did afford greater opportunity for the de- 
velopment and settlement of a project than could be found in areas 
composed exclusively of public domain. 

Some of the early projects included only privately owned land, and 
on nearly all of the projects there was a considerable portion of private 
land. More than one-half of all the lands included was privately 
owned at the time the projects were" authorized, and about two-thirds 
of all lands under water contract with the Government in 1924 were in 
private hands by the time water was ready for delivery on the projects. 



208 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Downey. And in these projects, Mr. Warne, all the prop- 
erty is in private hands? 

Mr. Warne. I believe without exception that is true on the three 
projects included in this bill. 

Even after the owners of these private lands agreed to divest 
themselves of their holdings in excess of the permissible 160 acres, 
there was no way in the early days of reclamation under the 1902 act to 
prevent the placing of any extravagant price on the excess land which 
the owners chose to place. 

Some prices were so high as to prevent the purchase and settlement 
of project lands. 

The Fact Finders Report, made in 1924 by a distinguished group of 
men appointed by Secretary of the Interior Hubert Work to look into 
the problems of irrigation and reclamation, contains many instances of 
these private lands being sold to settlers at prices that proved unbear- 
able. I refer you to pages 37, 38, 111, 112, 113, 124, and 141 of the 
Fact Finders Report. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Warne, practically all of the private lands 
you are speaking of, that passed from public to private ownership 
when the projects were being promoted, were undeveloped lands, un- 
irrigated lands? 

Mr. Warne. Yes, sir; but on many projects some lands had been 
irrigated by simple stream diversions under private initiative which 
required additional storage and supplemental water to round out the 
growing season. We have over 1,600,000 acres of such lands on proj- 
ects receiving water now. 

Senator Downey. Not supplemental projects? 

Mr. Warne. I believe most of it is unirrigated land at the time, that 
is right. 

The effects of these "land boom" prices for project land also included 
serious jeopardy to the economic feasibility of the projects. Again 
and again the settlers came to Washington or sent their representa- 
tives to plead for a reduction in their construction charges, to seek 
to postpone their payments, and otherwise to seek relief to make it 
possible for them to continue to farm the project land. The repay- 
ment principle and program were, in instances, broken down in this 
manner. 

In many areas, land prices rose to such heights that bona fide farmers 
passed the project by. This slowed down the settlement and develop- 
ment of the lands, which also postponed the date when repayment for 
construction by the water users could begin. Canals without customers 
became the order of the day on some projects. 

Speculators in these ways defeated to a large extent the economic 
and social purposes of the Federal, interest-free expenditures for 
irrigation projects. 

The Fact Finders Committee and also the Congress, as evidenced by 
the passage in 1926 of the Omnibus Adjustment Act, believed that the 
owners of excess land should be required to sell that land at prices 
which represented its actual value without reference to the proposed 
construction of the irrigation works. Section 12 of the Reclamation 
Extension Act of 1914 (38 Stat. 089) and section 46 of the Omnibus 
Adjustment Act (44 Stat. 030) so provide and section 46 also provides 
that these restrictions on the price at which such land may be sold 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 209 

are to hold until at least one-half of the construction charges against 
the lands are fully paid. 

Fortunately, the record has been sufficiently preserved, as a result 
of testimony before congressional committees and through reports to 
permit careful summarization by projects of all salient details. A 
project-by-project review leaves no room for doubt of the need for 
. speculation controls on reclamation projects. I shall not try to cover 
all projects, but will give a review of some that are typical. 

RIO GRANDE PROJECT 

On the Rio Grande project construction began on the Rio Grande 
project, New Mexico-Texas, in 1906, but as the plans were developing, 
the prices for the unimproved desert land had risen by that year to 
$15 or $25 an acre. In 1913, only 7 years later, the prices of this same 
unimproved land had risen to $50 and $75 an acre. In February 
1916 the Central Board of Review, discussing certain recommendations 
for project development, said : 

About three-fifths of the American lands under this project are held by owners 
in comparatively large areas, so that the greater part of it is excess land which 
must be sold. From the best information obtainable, much of this land was 
not bought for the purpose of making homes but for the purpose of reselling 
it at a profit to actual settlers. The prices at which it is being held are so far 
above the original cost as to make this a serious obstacle to development. In 
other words, it is an attempt to collect from the actual settler all the ad- 
vantages of the Government's expenditure in the way of enhanced prices. This is 
a more serious obstacle than project costs. 

In explaining the failure of the project lands to be settled com- 
pletely, in spite of extensive promotional activities, the president of 
the Elephant Butte — which is on the Rio Grande project — irrigation 
district stated in a report to the Board of Survey and Adjustment 
that — 

The reason is that even the most unthinking and inexperienced would-be 
farmer is wise enough to know that he can't clear, level, and build up the 
fertility where leveled, crop his farm, feed his family, and pay the tremendous 
overhead. 

He was referring to the amortization and interest charges on land 
purchases and irrigation construction cost charges when he referred 
to "overhead." 

In discussing what action should be taken with respect to a plea 
from the water users to reduce the construction charges against the 
land, the Board had this to say : 

It will, however, only add to the injustice and wrong to the ultimate actual 
user of water on this project if the project cost is reduced now, because the 
benefits will not go to the settler but will be appropriated by the speculative 
owner. 

The Board advocated immediate action to protect the bona fide 
settler against loss of time and money through a program to warn 
prospective settlers of the total land and water charges they would 
have to face if they undertook to purchase at the then inflated prices. 
The Board also recommended that the Government purchase the land 
and settle it under a system of organized aid and direction, with low 
interest rates and long-term credit such as was being done in Aus- 
tralia. This plan was adopted in 1943 for the control of speculation 
on the great Columbia Basin project in the State of Washington. 



210 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

SALT RIVER PROJECT 

Construction began on the Salt River project, Arizona, in 1903. 
Of the land originally included in the project area, only about 16,000 
acres were public lands. The rest, over 224,000 acres, were in private 
hands. Some of these private lands had been irrigated partially. 

Some of the private holdings, such as those held by the Chanler 
Land Improvement Co. and Messrs. Murphy and Fowler, were large. 
A typical land boom was unleashed at the time the project was begun. 
Land changed hands rapidly, with increases of from $5 to $10 an acre 
between each sale. Finally, the eventual settler was faced with the 
impossible job of earning enough to pay high interest rates and amor- 
tization on his land, and construction charges as well. 

The Chinese farmers in the valley had gained a virtual monopoly on 
truck farming at the time and most of the settlers could not afford the 
long development period required to get citrus trees into production. 
This became the sole prerogative of a few wealthy landowners. Most 
settlers were restricted practically to the planting of alfalfa. Until 
191-£ there had been a good market for alfalfa in the Los Angeles area, 
but then the crop began to be grown in southern California. All this 
led to serious financial consequences for the settlers. (Hearings, House 
Committee on Appropriations, 63d Cong., 2d sess., 1924, pp. 76-82.) 

In 1913 the project engineer reported that by the time construction 
began 10 years before, the price of unimproved desert land had risen 
to $17.20 an acre. Seven years after construction began, this same 
unimproved land was selling for an average of $92.50 an acre, an in- 
crease of 440 percent — table 1. Much of it was disposed of at from 
$200 to $300 an acre, and some that was close to Phoenix proper sold 
for $500 an acre. 

The effects of this speculative rise in unimproved land prices, both 
on the settlers and on the repayment prospects of the project, were 
described by the then Commissioner of Reclamation, Mr. F. H. Newell, 
during hearings before the House Committee on Irrigation of Arid 
Lands on January 27, 1912: 

The water users on the project believe that important concessions in making 
repayments are necessary, especially in the case of the numerous settlers who 
have recently come to the valley and who have purchased lands at a high price 
and which are now heavily mortgaged. These men are struggling under a debt 
with large interest charges and will, of course, have great difficulty in making 
prompt payments to the Government for water if they consider the real-estate 
dealer or former owner of the land as a preferred creditor. They figure about 
this way: A man has bought land at about $150 an acre and has paid, say, a 
tenth down, with interest at 8 percent on this $120, or $9.60 an acre, and must 
pay ;i tenth payment of $15 more, or $24.60 an acre, and must support his family 
in addition. He therefore arrives at the conclusion that he cannot afford to 
pay the Government. He forgets that it is the water furnished by the Govern- 
ment which alone gives value to the land. There is constantly before him the 
fact that the rich Government does not need the money and may be put off, while 
at the same time he believes that the monev lender or man who holds the 
mortgage on his property cannot be thus held off. 

The existence of this class of landowners; namely, those who have bought at 
high prices and are loaded with debt, constitutes the main argument in favor 
of concessions regarding payment and leaves the Government with the alterna- 
tives — 

First, enforce payment at the rate of one-tenth each year for 10 vears. This, 
it is stated, will send many of the small landowners to the wall, as they cannot 
1«'«-|) up their payments to their creditors and maintain the high rate of interest 
and support their families if in addition they must refund to the Government. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 211 

Second, grant such concessions in the way of extension of time or graduated 
payments as will enable these debt-burdened landowners to succeed, thus placing 
the Government in the attitude of waiting while the original holder or speculator 
collects the earnings of the settler. 

YAKIMA PROJECT— TIETON DIVISION 

• Construction on the Tieton division of the Yakima project in Wash- 
ington began in 1907. Apparently speculation on the lands in this 
area did not begin before construction as it had on many other projects, 
for the project engineer reported that large blocks of unimproved 
land within the project area had sold at 50 cents to $5 per acre — the 
average was $2.75. After the construction was started, the prices of 
unimproved land advanced to from $100 to $300 an acre. Many tracts 
were sold to prospective settlers at these inflated prices. 

Values of unimproved land on the Okanogan project, Washington, 
before the construction of the project began in 1906, had reached about 
$10 an acre. Shortly, they soared and by 1913 unimproved land was 
being sold for from $250 to $500 an acre. Loose, sandy land on what 
is locally known as the flat was selling for $75 an acre in 1913. Land 
with 3, or 4-year-old orchards was selling from $400 to $525 an acre 
at that time,-although the early flush of speculative prices was reported 
to be falling off somewhat by then. 

Commenting on the general conditions on the project in 1913, the 
project supervisor stated : 

Property here as elsewhere has undoubtedly in many cases rendered the best — 
agricultural and irrigation — methods impossible, due to cost. It is thought that 
these hard times being experienced will continue for 2 or 3 years on this project, 
and within that time considerable fruit will undoubtedly be shipped, and the 
growth of other crops will also aid materially. The speculator will have to sell 
by that time to some bona fide farmer and at such a price as will make it pos- 
sible for the buyer to live. The high prices of land and over-speculation have 
undoubtedly caused the stagnation which is affecting the entire country at present. 

YUMA PROJECT, ARIZONA 

The Yuma project in Arizona was begun in 1905. Unimproved 
land before construction began was selling for $15 to $20 an acre. By 
1911, the project engineer reported, prices of such land had reached 
such a high level that settlement was deterred. However, by 1913, 
prices had receded to $60 to $75 an acre. 

Others were similar — the speculative story on these projects was 
more or less the same as those of others which had been undertaken 
up to 1913 when the survey was made. 

The farmers' ability to carry their repayment obligations for the 
irrigation construction charges was lessened by the speculation. By 
1923 the situation had become so acute that the Fact Finders Commit- 
tee was appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to see what should 
or could be done. The Secretary reported that as of December 31, 
1922, $6,000,000 of construction and operation and maintenance 
charges were due and unpaid by the water users. 

The committee studied each project. Again and again in its report, 
the committee commented on the important part which land specula- 



212 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 



tion had played in creating the conditions that it found. The follow- 
ing statements in the report are typical : 

The greedy owners of private lands, ready to trade upon the natural desire 
of vigorous, hard-working men, for independent homes, should and could have 
been squelched. 

Of great importance also in explaining the difficulties of the Reclamation 
Service, is the failure of the original act to provide such control over the rights 
as to require at the time of each transfer a proper proportion of increased value 
to be paid on construction charges. As a result existing construction charges 
have been ignored when transfers were made, thus leaving the last purchaser 
burdened with the increased land value as well as the construction cost. This 
combined burden of indebtedness made it difficult and in some instances im- 
possible for the settler to meet his annual obligation to the Government. 

Table III, which I offer here for the record, lists the actual financial 
losses which the committee felt would be necessary, a total of 
$18,561,146. 

Table IV, which I offer here for the record, shows that in the main 
those projects on which the greatest amount of speculation occurred 
in their formative years had, a few years later, the most delinquency. 
The delinquency on projects which had had relatively little speculation 
was negligible. 

Senator Ecton. Without objection tables III and IV will be inserted 
in the record at this point. 

(The tables referred to follow:) 

Table III. — Recommendations of fact finders committee on values of construc- 
tion charges to be suspended and forgiven on Bureau of Reclamation projects, 
1926 Omnibus Adjustment Act 1 



Project 


Resolution 
No. 


Probable 
loss 2 


Definite 

lOSS ^ 


Salt River 


37 
40 
38-39 
41 
42 
43 
44 
45 
46 




$382, 097 


Yuma auxiliary . 


None 
$2, 700, 000 

None 
1, 000, 000 
1, 500, 000 




Yuma .. _. . 


1, 361, 000 


Orland 




Grand Vallev 




Lncompahgre . . 


47, 370 


King Hill 


1, 000, 000 


Minidoka . . . .. 


None 
None 




Boise . .. 




Garden City ... . 


334, 475 


Huntley . . 


47 

48 

49 


400, 000 


100, 000 


Milk River 


3, 000, 000 


Sun River: 

Fort Shaw division 


130, 000 


70, 000 


Greenfields division 


1, 850, 000 


Lower Yellowstone .. 


50 
51 
52 
53 
54 
54 
55 
64 
56 
57 
58 
59 
60 
61 
63 
62 
65 




1, 000, 000 


North Platte 


600, 000 




N'ewlands , 


3, 500, 000 


Carlshad 


None 




Hondo.. 


371, 886 


Buford-Trenton... 




294, 318 


Williston 


^ 


600, 000 


Rio Grande 


None 




Umatilla 


600, 000 


Klamath 


500, 000 
750, 000 

None 
500, 000 

None 
750, 000 

( 4 ) 

None 


250 000 


Belle I'ourehe 




Strawberry Valley.. 




Okanogan 


275, 000 


Yakima. 




Shoshone, Frannie division 


2. 325, 000 


Riverton 


1, 200, 000 


Secondary 




Total.. 


8, 830, 000 


18, 561, 146 


_ 





1 Documenl No. 92, 68th Cong., 1st sess., pp. 142-143. 

I on acreages not then capable of profitable production but possibly susceptible of restoration. 
1 Based on items which would result in actual depletion of the reclamation fund. 
4 I nder construction. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 



213 



Table IV. — Percent increase of values of unimproved land by 1913, and proportion 
of unpaid construction charges by 1923 on certain reclamation projects 



Project 


Percent 
increase in 
value of un- 
improved 
land by 1913 


Percent 
construction 
charges ' due 
and unpaid 

by 1923 


Shoshone - . ... 


5,000 

2,400 

775 

700 

291 

1,525 

900 

350 

75 

170 

108 

300 


23.7 


Okanogan. . _ 


»29.0 


Belle Fourche,.. -. - 


36.2 


North Platte 


27.8 


Yuma ... . --. .- . . 


3 36.3 




10.4 


Umatilla . 


12.3 




8.2 




12.3 


Carlsbad . . 


8.3 


Newlands.. .. . ... . 


4.5 


Klamath 


5.4 







J Source: Fact Finders Report, 1924, p. 143. 
» 1920. 
» 1918. 

One example : The Shoshone project, on which the value of unim- 
proved land increased by 5,000 percent from 1904 to 1913, had in 
1923, 23.7 percent of construction charges due and unpaid. 

Little speculation took place on the Newlands and Carlsbad project 
occurred. Between 1903 and 1913 the prices of unimproved land 
on the Newlands project, Nevada, increased by only 108 percent, little 
more than the increase of 93.2 percent in value of all farm land in the 
State. In 1923 only 4.5 percent of the construction charges were 
unpaid on the Newlands project. Similarly, on the Carlsbad project 
the value of unimproved land rose 170 percent from 1906 to 1913, and 
its unpaid construction charges in 1923 were only 8.3 percent. 

While the correlation shown on these figures in table IV between 
speculation and delinquency is not perfect, and there were undoubtedly 
other factors which influenced delinquency, there can be no doubt that 
in 1923 the early speculation in project lands still adversely affected 
repayments of the projects, and the imminent bankruptcy of the settlers 
was apparent to the Fact Finders Committee. 

The delinquencies in construction and operation and maintenance 
payments have been greatly reduced, the latter entirely eliminated, 
since 1926, when the speculation controls were provided teeth. 

How well have the antispeculation provisions worked ? 

The provisions in the Omnibus Adjustment Act of 1926, calling 
for the securing of recordable contracts from owners of excess land, 
have been applied on many reclamation projects since that time. 

On the Vale project in Oregon, begun 20 years ago, recordable con- 
tracts were signed with owners of excess land for the entire excess 
acreage on that project. The owners since have disposed of all of this 
excess land. The average price at which that unimproved land was 
sold was $10 per acre. This took place since 1926, when the present 
law was enacted, and it is in sharp contrast with the earlier history. 

On the Owyhee project, Oregon and Idaho, a new project, built since 
the Vale contract was started, recordable contracts were secured for 
approximately 12,500 acres of excess land. The excess land was 
mainly in the ownership of two large land companies, the Eastern 
Oregon Land Co. and the Oregon & Western Colonization Co. Both 



214 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

companies executed recordable contracts and disposed of the excess 
land over a period of several years. These excess lands were sold at 
the appraised price established by the Secretary of the Interior. The 
average appraised price on this unimproved land was slightly less than 
$10 per acre. In the case of each sale, the agent of the company and 
the purchaser joined' in an affidavit to the irrigation district setting 
forth the sale price. 

An additional 5,000 acres in the Gem and Black Canyon irrigation 
districts on the Owyhee project were excess land owned by the State 
of Idaho. The State sold its land under its usual procedure of adver- 
tisement and auction to the highest bidder. Some of these lands were 
sold for as high as $25 per acre, by contrast with the procedure on the 
other lands. The Secretary ruled that a purchaser of State land within 
the Gem or Black Canyon irrigation districts might obtain a water 
right upon the execution of a separate contract with the United States 
which required the application to construction charges of one-half of 
any increment in price above the Secretary's appraised price from the 
sale of these lands to a second owner. Purchasers of State lands all 
executed these separate contracts. 

Senator Downey. May I ask, was one of these the old Boise projects, 
the one you are referring to ? 

Mr. Warne. No, sir ; I have not touched the Boise project here. 

Senator Downey. That is one of your late projects ? 

Mr. Warne. No; it was an early project. There are sections of the 
Boise project that are coming in at the present time, but there was 
wide speculation in the land of the Boise project in the early days. 

Senator Downey. Well, is it true that in that particular project there 
are now leases by potato companies covering several thousand acres ? 

Mr. Warne. Well, I cannot answer that for certain. I will look 
it up. 

Senator Downey. Legally there could be? 

Mr. Warne. Legally there could be and I surmise there are. 

(The following statement was submitted later:) 

Extent of Leasing of Land for Agricultural Purposes on the Boise Project, 

Summer of 1946 

During the spring and summer of 1946, when the landownership survey of 
Federal reclamation projects was made, a questionnaire was sent out to all project 
engineers and superintendents to secure certain information of a qualitative 
nature related to the question of size of ownerships in order to provide background 
for the survey. One of the matters of interest to the Bureau of Reclamation was 
the extent to which farmers on the projects were leasing land, in addition to their 
owned holdings, for agricultural purposes. This information was requested for 
each irrigation district served by each Bureau project. 

The table attached summarizes the replies received for each irrigation district 
served by the Boise, Idaho, project to four questions asked to determine the extent 
and trend of the leasing of additional land by farmers in the project area. The 
answers show that the leasing of additional land by farmers was not practiced 
extensively during 1946, when agricultural prices and markets were at their very 
peak and conditions were more favorable for such activities than at any time in 
the last 20 years. In most districts where any leasing took place, not more than 
40 additional acres were leased. The answers showed also that there had been 
no increase in leasing tendencies during the war or in recent years. 

A quick review of the questionnaires received from other Bureau projects shows 
similar answers on all but one or two of all the other Bureau projects included in 
the survey which received water in 1946. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 215 

Boise project, Idaho — Tabulation of comments on excess-land practices 



Water users' organization 


To what extent 
leasing of addi- 
tional land is 
practiced 


Bange in size of 
acreage operated 


Tendency on 

project for this 

type cf operation 

to increase or 
decrease in size 

and number 


Significant 
difference in 
type of crops 
raised or crop* 
ping program 


Farmers' Cooperative Ditch 

Co. 
New York irrigation district.. 

Black Canyon irrigation dis- 


None known 

Very little 

None. 


None .. . 


Practically none 
No change 


No. 


Not over 80 acres 
rented by 1 owner. 


No. * 


trict. 
Black Canyon irrigation dis- 


do 








trict No. 2. 
Big Bend irrigation district. 


do.. 




Very little leas- 
ing of land at 
any time. 


No. 


Boise-Kuna irrigation dis- 


Limited extent 
only. 

Not to any 
great extent. 

Very little prac- 
ticed in this 
area. 

Limited extent 
only. 

A moderate 
amount. 

Very little 

None.. 


Small tracts; owners 
rent additional 40 
acres but not to 
exceed 80 acres. 

40-80 acres 


No. 


trict. 
Emmett irrigation district 


About the same. 

Very little 
change. 

No change 

No noticeable 
tendency. 

No tendency.. 


None. 


Farmers Union Ditch Co 

Nampa and Meridian irriga- 
tion districts. 

Nampa and Meridian irriga- 
tion districts (Warren Act 
only). 

Biverside irrigation district. 
Settlers irrigation district 


Very little practiced. 

A few owners with 
small farms rent 
up to 80 acres in 
addition to farm- 
ing their own 
land. 

Probably average; 
about 40 acres 
leased. No large 
examples known. 

Only 1 example 
known. He 
leases 40 acres. 


No. 
No. 

No difference. 
No. 


Wilder irrigation district 


Small extent 


Small-tract owners 
rent additional 40 
acres but not to 
exceed 80 acres. 


No change 


No. 



Senator Downey. I think that that is correct ; and I think in many 
other of the projects there are very large leases to large operating 
companies. There is nothing in the law to prevent that ? 

Mr. Warne. No, sir; there is nothing in the law to prevent the 
leasing of land by the owner. 

Senator Downey. May I intervene also, Mr. Chairman? I would 
like to get a little further information. 

Senator Ecton. Senator Downey. 

Senator Downey. Now, the Government has recently completed an 
operation out in the Tule Lake district in California. 

Mr. Warne. Yes, sir. 

Senator Downey. Under which some very few veterans — I have 
forgotten the number 

Mr. Warne. Eighty-six, I think. 

Senator Downey (continuing), were given some very valuable par- 
cels of land, were they not? 

Mr. Warne. Yes, sir. 

Senator Downey. Probably some of the best land in the State ? 

Mr. Warne. It is certainly very valuable land. I do not think 
it quite classes with your valley lands of the San Joaquin or Imperial 
or Coachella. But it is very good land. 



216 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Downey. It is very fertile. It has been leveled and had 
been under cultivation heretofore. 

Mr. Warne. It had been cultivated; yes, sir. 

Senator Downey. And had been irrigated before? 

Mr. Warne. Yes, sir. 

Senator Downey. What, Mr. Warne, did your Bureau estimate 
was the value of that land? That was public land, was it not? 

Mr. Warne. Yes, sir. 
* Senator Downey. And how much did you value it per acre? 

Mr. Warne. Well, it was certainly worth at least $100 per acre in 
that state. 

Senator Downey. You do not think it is worth about $250 or could 
be sold for that ? 

Mr. Warne. I do not believe it was worth that amount. I am not 
saying it could not be sold for that amount. But it did not have any 
permanent improvements on it other than the land leveling and the 
first crop. 

Senator Downey. Well, tell me this : How long does that veteran 
who received that gift from the Government, which I thoroughly ap- 
plaud — I am not criticizing — how long does he have to live there before 
he can sell it? 

Air. Warne. He has to live there a sufficient length of time to satisfy 
the homestead requirements. They have been relaxed some in recent 
years and veterans of the recent war were given credit for time spent 
in the Army or perhaps it was overseas — I am not quite familiar with 
what it is now. I think it is down now to a matter of a year or so. 

Senator Downey. And if you say that that land in your opinion 
is worth $100 an acre but possibly could be sold for $250, let us assume 
just for the purpose of argument that both statements are correct. 
Or it might be even sold for more. Is there any limitation on what 
the veterans can do with that land at the end of the year or 2 years? 

Mr. Warne. When title passes to him, there is no limitation upon 
him. 

Senator Downey. So there is a limitation for a year? 

Mr. Warne. He cannot pass the title until he has served out his resi- 
dence requirements and made the improvements required under the 
homestead laws. 

Senator Downey. And then if he can find a purchaser, perhaps 
another veteran, at $250 or $500 an acre, he has the legal right to 
sell it? te b 

Mr. Warne. I believe that is right. 

Senator Downey. And do you think that that type of operation by 
the Government in public lands prevents this kind of a speculation 
you are talking about? 

Mr. Warne. No ; I would a whole lot rather have had a different law 
to operate under for the Tule Lake project. 

Senator Downey. Did you ever ask for one? 

Mr. Warne. Yes ; we did ask for one. It was before the Congress 
last year, but it was not acted on. 

Senator Downey. Did you ever talk to me about it? 

Mr. Warne. I do not believe I did, Senator. 

Senator Downey. I am a Senator from California ? 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 217 

Mr. Warne. The bill was pending in the House and we went to 
lengthy hearings in the House on H. R. 520 last year for the very 
purpose of meeting this and similar situations that we had. Now, 
application of the bill would not have been confined to the Klamath 
project, you see. 

Senator Downey. In the Klamath project there are already a large 
•number of leases, are there not ? 

Mr. Warne. There are leases there ; lands that cannot be be perma- 
nently settled owing to their likelihood of overflow by the Tule Lake 
sump during high-water seasons that are leased by the Government 
presently to operators who level and put crops in — harvest crops. 

Senator Downey. Very well ; I do not want to interrupt you of tener 
than I have to; I just wanted information on those two points. 

Mr. Warne. Yes, sir. 

On the Deschutes project, Oregon, there were excess lands in the 
Jefferson water-conservancy district. Recordable contracts for 98 per- 
cent of this privately owned excess land have been obtained, and 
approximately 40 percent has been disposed of at appraised prices 
varying from $25 for class 1 land to $20 for class 3 land. Irrigation 
is just starting on the project, which is getting off to a good beginning. 

On the Minidoka project, Idaho, recordable contracts were obtained 
for 100 percent of the privately owned excess land in the American 
Falls reservoir district No. 2, and to date 6,738 acres, or 94 percent, has 
been disposed of at an average appraised price of between $25 and $30 
per acre, depending on the class of land. 

On the Columbia Basin-Grand Coulee Dam project, Washington, 
4,659 recordable contracts have been signed by owners of 988,950 acres 
of land on this the largest reclamation project. This represents 79.3 
percent of the entire acreage and more than two-thirds of the 6,748 
owners of the project. The average appraised value for land on this 
project is $10.54 per acre. Irrigation cannot begin for several years, 
since large canals are yet to be completed. In general, there has been 
understanding and support for the acreage-limitation and antispecu- 
lation provisions of the law on this project. 

I want to add here that on the Columbia Basin project the controls 
are established in the Columbia Basin Project Act of 1943 and they are 
more limiting, less extensive even than the controls in the Omnibus 
Adjustment Act of 1926. That project is being developed under a law 
specifically designed to apply to it. 

The speculation controls of the Omnibus Adjustment Act of 1926 
have functioned successfully on later projects and have prevented 
speculation. Other examples could be given. 

Now, for fear that you may think I have belabored a point in the 
statement that may not be applicable to areas where the land is entirely 
developed through a full supply of irrigation water, I would like to 
state that there will be some undeveloped land in private ownership 
that will be irrigated by the project in the Central Valley of Cali- 
fornia — by the Central Valley project as presently authorized. A 
good deal of testimony has been given here relative to acreages of new 
land without a present water supply that are considered to be in the 
Kings River project and other projects that are in the Central Valley. 

In both of these other projects — i. e., Valley Gravity, Texas, and 
the San Luis project in Colorado — a great deal of undeveloped land 
will be involved when the projects are completed. 



218 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

RELATIONSHIP OF SPECULATION TO PROJECT SOLVENCY ON THOSE NOW 

BEING CONSTRUCTED 

To continue with reference to land prices and repayment ability r 
in determining the economic feasibility of proposed projects, a deter- 
mination is required of the ability of farmers on the lands to repay all 
or parts of the costs of construction that are allocated to irrigation. A 
number of budgetary studies for various types and sizes of farms which 
either exist now or will exist on the various projects have therefore 
been made. These studies take into account all factors which enter 
into returns from agricultural production and the legitimate costs of 
securing that production, including family living costs. They usually 
arrive at an amount designated in reclamation parlance as the "return 
of water," which is indicative of the farmer's ability to pay for con- 
struction out of his farm activity. This is usually expressed in both 
per farm and per acre ability to repay construction costs. 

Consideration is given in such analyses to the farmer's capital in- 
vestment in land and irrigation structures and a cost item of 5 per- 
cent is usually set up as interest on this land investment. This is one 
of the items which must be deducted from gross income before the 
amount available for construction charges can be determined. 

Now it is clear that if the farmer's investment in land increases, the 
total interest payable annually on that investment will also increase, 
and because of this increased cost the repayment ability of the farmer 
will decline, assuming that all other factors remain stable. It is pos- 
sible, therefore, to determine, through the ratio of interest on land 
to the amount available for construction payments, the point at which 
an increase in land values or prices will completely absorb the farmer's 
ability to repay the Government. An analysis has been made in 
table V, which I would like to insert in the record at this point. 

Senator Ecton. Without objection, the table V will be placed in 
the record at this point. 

(Table V is as follows :) 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAXD LIMITATIONS 



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220 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Table V. — Relationship of land values to repayment ability on selected reclama- 
tion projects underconstruction 

Under reclamation law the irrigators get interest-free money for the construc- 
tion costs of the project which are allocated to irrigation. These costs amount 
to almost $200,000,000. Interest at even a nominal rate on this amount would 
reach staggering proportions over a 50-year period. 

However, monetary benefits to landowners are not restricted to this. The 
project will generate a vast amount of hydroelectric power. Almost a third of 
this will be used for pumping water in the project facilities. The costs of the 
project that are allocated to project pumping are also interest-free and, there- 
fore, low rates for pumping power are possible, with the irrigators the benefi- 
ciaries. 

Finally, almost three-fourths of the costs allocated to irrigation will be re- 
turned from net revenues from the sale of commercial power. This represents 
a monetary benefit to project landowners of over $144,000,000. To a lesser 
extent, the sale of water for municipal and industrial purposes will also con- 
tribute toward paying for irrigation costs and provide monetary benefits to 
landowners. 

These benefits, the sum of which exceeds $327,878,000, are broken down as 
follows : 

Assuming that interest was charged at 2% percent 1 on $199,661,100 over a 
period of Hi) years, 2 and that irrigators had to pay the entire irrigation costs of 
the project without benefit of revenues from power and municipal and industrial 
water sales, the following represents the additional costs the landowners would 
have to bear : 

Interest at 2y 2 percent $183, 688, 000 

Subsidy from power and municipal and industrial water sales 144, 190, 225 

Total 327, 878, 225 

Now, what does a monetary benefit of this amount mean to the individual 
landowner? If landowners of the Central Valley project had to pay the entire 
irrigation costs without the benefits they now get under reclamation law instead 
of the established weighted average price of class I water of $2.70 an acre-foot, 
such water would cost them $6.77 an acre-foot. Even for those farms which 
require only a supplement to their present water supply, the savings under recla- 
mation law are very considerable. For example, at the same price for class I 
water of $6.77 an acre-foot, assuming a requirement of 1 acre-foot per acre for 
supplemental irrigation, the annual payments for irrigation water would be 
$1,303.20 greater for a 320-acre farm than they would be under the price that 
lias been established. Capitalized at 5 percent, this annual saving would amount 
to $26,064. 

Mr. Warne. Column (7) of this table shows that increases as low 
as 70 and 80 percent on the prices of land would increase interest 
payments on farms on the Frenchman-Cambridge unit of the Mis- 
souri Basin project in Nebraska and on the Ogden River project in 
Utah to a point at which the ability of the farmers to pay for irriga- 
tion construction cost would be wiped out. 

For example, the total interest payments at 5 percent on a 99-acre 
general farm on the Frenchman-Cambridge unit, worth at present $93 
an acre, would amount to $461.50 a year. Our analysis shows that 
on a farm of this type there would be available a maximum of $359 
a year for repayment of construction charges. An increase of land 
values to $164 per acre, or 77 percent, on this farm would destroy all 
of its estimated repayment ability. 

The analysis shows that most of the farms, of several types, would 
begin to become delinquent in the repayment of their construction 
charges before the present prices of land had increased even 100 

1 This is the interest charge used by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation on power 
loans. 

- Sec Central Valley Project Allocation Report, House Document 146, 80th Cong., 1st sess. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 221 

percent. The figure for each type of farm is shown in column (9) of 
table V. . 

If the antispeculation provisions should be removed now from 
projects under construction and land prices should be permitted to 
rise as I have shown they did rise on our early projects, I would pre- 
dict that the Congress would be asked within a few years after the 
construction is completed to write off a large part of the cost allocation 
to irrigation which is now within the ability of the farmers on these 
projects to repay. 

Between 1902 and 1913, values of unimproved land on 24 projects 
rose 759 percent. If such speculation booms were permitted to occur 
on the projects that are now under construction, not one of these 
projects would be economically sound. We should have allowed, 
under such dire conditions, the land s}Deculator to grab that share of 
the cost of construction which the farmers could otherwise havq 
returned to the United States. 

VALUES FROM FEDERAL INTEREST-FREE WATER WHICH WILL BE CAPTURED 

BY SPECULATION 

Actual monetary benefits accrue to landowners under the reclama- 
tion law. The Central Valley project, California, has been analyzed 
to determine the facts there. An integrated, multiple-purpose project, 
its purposes include expansion of the present agricultural resources, 
production of power, expansion and extension of the supply of munic- 
ipal and industrial water, improvement of navigation, mitigation of 
floods, salinity repulsion to save exisiting agricultural land, silt con- 
trol, recreation and other related benefits. 

Under reclamation law, the irrigators get interest-free money for 
the construction costs of the project which are allocated to irrigation. 
These costs amount to almost $200,000,000. Interest at even a nominal 
rate on this amount would reach staggering proportions over a 50- 
year period. 

However, monetary benefits to landowners are not restricted to 
this. The project will generate a vast amount of lrydroelectric power. 
Almost a third of this will be used for pumping water in the project 
facilities. The costs of the project that are allocated to project pump- 
ing are also interest-free and, therefore, low rates for pumping poAver 
are possible, with the irrigators, the sole beneficiaries. 

Finally, almost three- fourths of the costs allocated to irrigation 
will be returned from net revenues from the sale of commercial 
power and municipal water. This represents a monetary benefit to 
project landowners of over $144,000,000. To a lesser extent the sale 
of water for municipal and industrial purposes will also contribute 
toward paying for irrigation costs and provide monetary benefits to 
landowners. 

These benefits, the sum of which exceed $327,878,000, are broken 
down as follows : 

Assuming that interest was charged at 2y 2 percent — this is the 
interest charge used by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation on 
power loans — on $199,661,100 over a period of 59 years and that irriga- 
tors had to pay the entire irrigation costs of the project without 
benefit of revenues from power and municipal and industrial water 

62453 — 47 15 



222 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

sales, the following represents the additional costs the landowners 
would have to bear : 

Interest at 2V 2 percent $1S3. 6S8, 000 

Subsidy from power and municipal and industrial water sales 144, 190, 225 



327, 878, 225 

Xow what does a monetary benefit of this amount mean to the indi- 
vidual landowner? If landowners of the Central Valley project had 
to pay the entire irrigation costs without the benefits they now get 
under reclamation law instead of the established weighted average 
price of class I water of $2.70 an acre-foot, such water would cost 
them $6.77 an acre-foot. Even for those farms which require only a 
supplement to their present water supply, the savings under reclam- 
ation law are very considerable. 

For example, at the same price for class I water of $6.77 an acre- 
foot, assuming a requirement of only 1 acre-foot per acre for supple- 
mental irrigation, the annual payment for irrigation water would be 
$1,303.20 greater for a 320-acre farm than they would be under the 
price that has been established. Capitalized at 5 percent, this annual 
saving would increase land values on such a farm by $26,064. On a 
farm of 320 acres, requiring a full supply of 3 acre-feet, it would be 
three times $26,064. or over $78,000. 

This is the real monetary worth of the reclamation law to every 
owner of 320 acres in the Central Valley project area. The landowners 
do not contribute these benefits, but profit by them. These benefits are 
contributed by the Federal Government, and should be distributed to 
the largest possible number of owners of family-sized farms through 
preserving the land antispeculation provisions of the reclamation law. 

The real question before the committee, it seems to me, is whether 
the reclamation program, which confers and is meant to confer benefits 
on the irrigators, is going to operate under provisions designed to 
insure that these gTeat benefits are widely distributed to actual settlers 
and bona fide project farmers. 

I have dealt only with the desirability of controlling speculation in 
project lands. The restrictions as to size of land holdings are a part 
cf the required standards for a satisfactory reclamation program. 
Others have and will handle that question. I will state only that I 
believe that the size of holdings should be limited and that the present 
limits are adequate to spread the benefits of the program and to provide 
the project farmers with good livings and good opportunities. 

In summary, speculation on the early projects produced land-boom 
prices 750 percent above actual values. This led to widespread delin- 
quency in payment of construction charges or project after project, 
and it bankrupted settlers, but it fattened speculators. The anti- 
speculation provisions incorporated in the law of 1926 have effectively 
curbed speculation on projects begun since then. Insolvency for 
settlers on all of the projects now under construction is threatened if 
these controls are abandoned, and Federal investment in these projects 
would be jeopardized. Finally, the $328,878,000 of benefits intended by 
Congress for the farmers of the Central Valley project would be 
dangled for the speculators to grab, if the wise land limitations of the 
reclamation laws were ripped out. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 223 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, may I inquire ? 

Senator Ecton. Senator Downey. 

Senator Downey. You say that there are certain presently unde- 
veloped lands. I suppose you mean unirrigated rather than unde- 
veloped lands? 

Mr. Warne. Yes, sir. 

Senator Downey. In the area that has been served by the present 
Central Valley project? 

Mr. Warne. Yes, sir. 

Senator Downey. Now, what percent of the total area that will re- 
ceive supplemental or its entire water supply are those presently un- 
irrigated land ? 

Mr. Warne. There are others, Senator, who will come on later who 
can give you those percentages better than I. It is not a large per- 
centage. 

Senator Downey. Perhaps 20 percent ? 

Mr. Warne. Yes; I believe that is about right. I don't really re- 
member the figures, at this moment. 

Senator Downey. I think Mr. Kerr is here. He could tell us. 

Mr. Warne. For example, in the information given on the Madera 
yesterday, considerable mention was made of unirrigated lands that 
were included in the Madera irrigation district. 

Senator Downey. About 22,000. 

Mr. Warne. Out of 173,000 acres. 

Senator Downey. Or something of that kind. 

Mr. Warne. 22,000 acres would be a pretty good sized project in 
some States. 

Senator Downey. And that 22,000 would be the death blow to 
veterans if they moved on it. I have been over that particular area. 
Have you been over that undeveloped grain farm in the Madera ? 

Mr. Warne. I have been over the Madera irrigation district. 

Senator Downey. Over that particular part ? 

Mr. Warne. I have tried to see that land. Now I am not confi- 
dent — I do not know precisely where the irrigation district boundaries 
were. But some of the land, some of the grain land which I believe 
to be within the irrigation area and which is planned to be irrigable 
on the eastern side is pretty good land. 

Senator Downey. Undoubtedly some of it is fairly good land. But 
I think it is fair to say that most of it will be expensive to level or is 
an inferior grade of land. I was over that entire tract of land. I 
talked to the ranchers as I have in all these districts, Mr. Warne. 

Mr. Warne. I will agree with you that that land on the east side 
up near the foothills is going to be harder to handle, more costly. But 
that just means that this man who irrigates is going to have to put 
more effort and money into it. 

Senator Downey. Is it not true that, generally speaking, the 
presently unirrigated lands in this project tend to be either the poorer 
lands or those more remote from towns ? 

Mr. Warne. Well, others are trying to make the answer for me. 

Senator Downey. I would be glad to have the gentleman who wants 
to testify. You are a policy-making official of the Bureau of Recla- 
mation, are you not ? 



224 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Warne. Yes, sir; and I know that some of the undeveloped 
lands there are of poorer grades. I have been over them. I am not a 
soils expert but I know something about irrigation. Some of the un- 
developed land is rougher, too, up near the foothills. It will be 
harder to handle. 

Senator Downey. Would not our common sense tell us that on sim- 
ilar areas; that is, areas in the same vicinity where the water plane 
is about the same, that the natural common sense of any farmer would 
force him to develop the best lands first ; would we not know that ? 

Mr. Warne. Well, the best lands within his possession. Not all 
farmers have all classes of land. And the depth from which he has to 
pump enters into it too. I understand that depth is considerably 
greater on these east-side lands. 

Senator Downey. No ; but some farmer owns poor land, does he not ? 
Is not all of the land owned by somebody ? 

Mr. Warne. Yes, sir ; it is. 

Senator Downey. And would you not next say that the best lands 
would have been developed in the Central Valley ? 

Mr. Warne. The best lands that water could be obtained for would 
have been developed ; yes. 

Senator Downey. Now my question went to the comparison between 
lands in the same vicinity with the same water lift, where some have 
been developed while the alkali and the shallow soil lands and the 
rough lands have not been developed. 

Mr. Warne. Well, certainly there are patches of nonirrigable land. 

Senator Downey. Do you yourself know one single large area of 
good unirrigated land in the present Central Valley project? Just 
name one. Let us talk about concrete things. 

Mr. Warne. I have been shown such land by people who are here 
and who were advocating the construction of this project. Now, I 
cannot tell you how it classified when our land classifiers got to look- 
ing at it. But I think others will be able to do that. Mr. Stoner and 
Mr. Johnstone will have those facts. 

Senator Downey. I would think if there are such bodies of land in 
existence that somebody here during the course of this hearing will 
have the answer to that question that I have been asking your officials 
repeatedly. Where is any large body of unirrigated land in the pres- 
ent Central Valley project out of which this speculative orgy is sup- 
posed to rise? Who owns it? Where is it? How many acres? It 
cannot be up in the clouds or underneath the ground where it cannot 
be seen. 

Mr .Warne. I am confident that they will be able to spot it. I have 
been through the Orange Cove district. That land was once irrigated, 
and incidentally it is good land. The water went out from under it, 
and it is now unirrigated. There are over 27,000 acres in that district 
alone. 

Senator Downey. Oh, yes ; we have limited parcels of land where 
the pumping lift is so high now as to be uneconomical and we have 
measured those and have known what they are and are prepared to 
show this committee. We are not talking about that. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 225 

Mr. Warne. That land is not irrigated at the present time. 

Senator Downey. All right, if you refer to any of those parcels of 
land we would be interested to know what they are so we can present 
concrete facts to this committee — something we can get our teeth in. 
I have searched the Central Valley to find one large single parcel of 
land that would be available for some sort of a veteran colonization, if 
anybody wanted to go ahead. I do not know where it is. 

Mr. Warne. I remember when we testified on the last bill in 1944 
that Mr. Giffen offered his ranch over on the west side for that pur- 
pose. But since he has sold it to a large cotton factor. 

Senator Downey. That land is irrigated ; the reason Clayton- Ander- 
son took it over for cotton purposes is that they believed for their 
ginning purposes they needed that amount of land ; that is, irrigated 
land, privately owned, with its own water supply. You cannot break 
that land up with any 160-acre provision. It is irrigated. It is not 
in the present Central Valley proper. 

Mr. Warne. No, sir ; it is not. It has tried to get a water supply. 

Senator Downey. I do not know anything about that but we are not 
dealing with that west side at all in this hearing; that is, not in this 
project. You have no money for that, no plans for it, no authorization 
for it. 

Mr. Warne. There has already in this hearing been considerable 
testimony given by your witnesses, Senator Downey, concerning lands 
that are not considered by the Bureau of Reclamation to be within the 
Central Valley project as presently authorized. 

Senator Downey. I know the Bureau of Reclamation prefers to talk 
about them rather than about the lands in the present projects that are 
before this committee. 

Mr. Warne. It has not been the Bureau of Reclamation exclusively. 
It has been largely other witnesses appearing in favor of this bill. 
The Tulare Lake bed, for example, was discussed at great length here 
by Mr. Harding in a way which would have led the committee, I 
thought, to assume that it was within the Central Valley project. It 
is not. It is the part of Kings River service area and the Kings River 
project. 

Now, it has occurred to me that we were really setting the pattern 
here in whatever was done on this bill for any future development in 
the Central Valley, and therefore I thought it appropriate for the 
others to bring in the mention of lands that were not considered 
presently in the service area of the Central Valley project as presently 
authorized and I had not felt bound myself to confine my remarks 
solely to those lands. 

Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Warne, I am not asking you to ; and 
if anybody wants to discuss before this committee the lands on the 
west side of the valley that are not in the present project, but may be 
in some future project, I have no objection to that. I think probably 
the committee ought to know about it if it has the time. I am asking 
you a categorical question : Do you know of any single large tract of 
good land, first-class land, presently unirrigated, in the present Central 
Valley project? If any of your officials here can furnish you with 
that data, or they can testify directly, I would like to have it. 



226 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 



(The information requested is as follows :) 

The following list of landholdings of 500 acres or more, to be found in the area 
surveyed by the Bureau of Reclamation in the spring of 1946 for the Landowner- 
ship Survey on Federal Reclamation Projects, is submitted for the record In 
partial answer to Senator Downey's request. The area surveyed at that time 
does not by any means cover all of the area of the presently authorized Central 
Valley Project. 



Owner 


Water users' organization 


Total 
acreage 




Contra Costa water district ... 


2,886 




Arvin-Edison irrigation district 


640 




do .-.- 


565 




do. 


5S0 




... do.. L 


570 


Nettler E H 


do 


640 




do 


550 


Moore Dr Wm H 


do .- - 


640 




.. do 


520 


Stancliff C L 


... do 


5fi0 




do 


640 




do 


680 


CCMO Co 


. do 


880 


Caulev, P 


... do 


1,033 




do -.-- 


1,120 


Stevens, R. E 


do 


800 


Shell Oil Co 


. do . 


1.2S0 


Texas Co 


.. do 


720 




do. 


7,8S0 


El Tejon Rancho - 


do 


10, OSO 


General Pet. Co 


do 


2 330 




... do - 


4,931 


Porter Property Trustees, Ltd . . 


do 


1,692 


S. P. Land Co 


---_ do 


7,680 


Tejon Ranch Co. -- - 


do 




Camp- West- Lowe Farms 


Shafter-Wasco irrigation district ..-..- ... 


960 




... do. _ 


740 


Kern County Land Co . .- 


do 


5, 480 


Rocky Hill Corp. 




604 


Pogue, J. W. C 


do 


8S9 


Chalston, Esther V 




823 


Heitzey, Rovert.. ... .. 


Tulare irrigation district. _ 


617 


Petri Cigar Co 


do 


820 


Pacific States Corp.. .. . 


do - .. 


2.710 


Bell, Arabella W 


Southern San Joaquin M. U. D 

.- . do -. . - 


640 


Davis, InaB 


640 


Qleichner, E. L 


do... 


564 


Hiett, Geo 


do 


640 


Pacific Western Oil Co 


do 


640 


Russell, A. J . 


do 


600 




do- 


560 


Sorenson, L. P 

Tidewater Association Oil Co 


do 

do . 


560 
608 


California Grape Produce Co 


do .. . 


1,120 


Davis, T. A 

Hart, Alfred 


do 

do 


680 
650 


Perelli-Minetti& Sons 


do 


1,950 


Beach, Martha 




590 


Case, 1). L. A; J. A 


do 


600 


Orosi Orange Lands. 


do 


936 


Zaninovich, Geo. & D 


do 


1. 0!>1 


Collin, Ilenrv A 


: do 


793 


Pacific Coast Prop., Inc 


do... . 


627 


Cooper, Gladys 


Saucelito irrigation district 


666 


Merrett, E. W 


.do . 


779 


Cameo Vineyards Co 


— . do . 


597 


Baker. E.J 


Delano-Earlimart irrigation district. . . 


640 


Zaninovich, P. M 


. ..do . 


500 




do 


600 


Caratan, Marin. 


do.... 


1,000 


Lanza, II. 


do 


1,010 
760 


Lubking, II. L... 


do 


Orofino, F. A 


do 


720 


Wood, Harry 


. do 


770 


Division. P. J... 


do 


1,470 


Delkar Vineyard, Inc 


do 


800 


Talif. Vineyard Association 


do.... 


2,903 


DeGiorgio Fruit Co 


do . 


4,420 
500 


Smith, V. R 




in. Paul & Sons 


. - do 


737 


Fairless, J. H 


Tranquillity irrigation^iistrict 


701 


Qlotz, Wm. E 




654 


Hall, F. M. «fc E 


James irrigation district. 


682 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAXD LIMITATIONS 



227 



Owner 




Water users' organization 


Total 
acreage 




James irrig 
. ..do 




568 


Waechter, J. H - . — 




1 041 


Schramm, E. & M _. _.. 


do 


3 176 


Albonico, P. & J -- 


Madera in 
do 


igation district .. 


>>75 






524 


Averill, R 


do 


1 023 


Baker, O. L. & I W 


do 


568 


Voice, W. V. & M. E 

Moses, M. S _ . 


do 

do 


689 
1 432 


Ocheltree, P. H. & H. 0- 


do 


960 


Walker, F. & M. M 


do 


555 


Walker, Leo . 


do 


525 


Chiarello, S. & C 


do 


653 


Collins, W. H. 


do 


1,633 


Curran, J. & L._. _ ... .. 


do 


615 


Satlaberrv, A. D. <fc M 


do 


2,227 


Foss, W. H. <fc S. M 


do 


1,289 


White, H. F. & M. D 


do 


640 


Stitt, C. M 


do. 


830 


Mordecai, B. F 


do. 


595 




do 


1,099 




do 


738 


Hake, 0. C. & R. E 


do 


1,582 


Hamel, C. M., A. M„ C. E. & E. M.._. 

Hiegins, J. W 


do 

do 


2,560 
618 




do 


1,038 


Bergen, P. J. & A 


do 


793 


rnomas, S. & C 


do 


1,122 


Merritt. E. A. <k F. B 


do 


960 


Labodie. E. & M 


do 


757 




do 


1,429 


Pope, G. A 


do 


2,493 




do 


730 


Povthress, R. L. & E. M 


do 


637 


Otto, H. & M 


do 


627 


Parker, A. & W 


do 


631 


Savre, E. M. 6c A. L 


do 


G56 


Hughes, M. G. & A. M 

Hughes, L. B. & C. I 


do 

do 


697 
626 


Montgomery, Marv E 


do 


626 


Montgomery, A. E .. 


do 


626 


McAul'-v, M 


do 


626 


Arakelian, K., Inc .. 


do 


2, 430 


Bank, Capital National of Sacramento . 


do 


521 


C. G. T. Farminc Co 


do 


2. 374 


San Francisco Society of Xew Jerusalem. 


do 


640 


Western San Joaquin Cotton Oil Co ... 


do 


524 


Schlatter Estate Co .. ... . . .. 


do. . .. . ... ... .. .- 


960 




do 


758 








Total 


157,067 









Air. Warxe. I am confident they will testify with respect to that a 
little later on. I will be glad to supply a list from the lands we 
surveyed in 1946. (See list above.) 

Senator Downey. We will be glad to have it. I have no doubt 
there are some good unirrigated lands. I would say they are negli- 
gible, a small fraction of the whole. 

There are some in the Arvin-Edison district. 

Mr. YVarxe. Yes; I am familiar with that. 

Senator Downey. That is the only place I know. There are some 
in other places, but they are very limited in amount. The Arvin- 
Edison. the whole area, is not very large. 

Senator Ectox". Let me ask you, Mr. Warne, are there any plans, 
or do you know of any plans to expand and take in more territory 
under this Central Yallev project at the present time? 

Mr. Wakne. Senator Ecton, let me answer that this way : There are 
no proposals at the moment for the expansion of Central Valley project 
as presently authorized. There are, however, about half a dozen other 
projects already authorized in this valley right along with this project, 



228 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

projects of the Corps of Engineers, which will have irrigation benefits 
which we, the Bureau of Reclamation, under present law, are expected 
to dispense. 

Now, there are plans in addition to that for a complete utilization 
of the waters of the Central Valley, and those plans are long range ; 
they are not going to be realized in 10 or 15 years. It may be 50 
years. 

Senator Downey. Or maybe 100 years, or maybe never. If agri- 
cultural conditions became such that we did not have a market for 
specialized crops we might never develop those lands, Mr. Warne. 
I think we will. 

Mr. Warne. I have confidence. I have risked the little reputation 
which I have which I know will not be worth a thing a hundreds years 
from now, to predict that all of the work will be completed within a 
hundred years. 

Senator Ecton. I wish we could confine the testimony and the ques- 
tions primarily to the projects specifically determined under this bill, 
if possible. We wish to take care of the present situations now and 
take care of the future situations as they might arise. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, if I may make this statement first. 

Mr. Warne, my inquiry went to any presently authorized projects 
in the Central Valley. 

Mr. Warne. Well, I would point out that on page 2, section 3, Sen- 
ator, of this bill S. 912, it says, "this act shall apply to the following 
supplemental water projects." Now, go down to line 24, same page, 
where it says, "Central Valley projects, California." I do not know 
why the "s" is on there, but I presume it is so as to include the Kings 
River project and other projects that are authorized in the Central 
Valley. 

Senator Ecton. I think you should cut off that "s", Senator. 

Senator Downey. I am entirely willing to cut it off. Senator. My 
question went to any presently authorized projects, and I still will 
await with interest the description of these large parcels of good land 
presently unirrigated in which the orgy of speculation is expected to 
arise. 

Senator Ecton. I would like to ask a question, Senator, with re- 
spect to that plural. Is it the intention of the proponents of this bill 
to take in all the Central Valley projects, not just the Central Valley 
project, but all the others ? 

Senator Downey. The way the bill is drafted, it would undoubt- 
edly take in presently authorized projects. Now, we have testimony 
on the Kings River project, we had it yesterday, on which the Bu- 
reau of Reclamation is endeavoring to establish complete control over 
about 1,000,000 acres of land because that project will supply supple- 
mental water to the extent of 6 or 7 percent; but the people will not 
take it with this 160-acre limitation in it. It would include that 
project, if the word "projects" is left in— and would include some other 
presently authorized projects. 

Senator Watkins. When you were talking about cutting off the 

"s", you mean in this bill or 

_ Senator Downey (interposing). This goes into very difficult ques- 
tions of defining what is the Central Valley project presently. I think 
that expression, "present Central Valley projects," would "include all 
presently authorized projects in the Central Valley. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 229 

Senator Ectox. That is, by this wording yon admit that there is 
more than one project. Senator Downey? 

Senator Downey. Oh, yes ; there are. 

Senator Ectox. I ask because it is a little confusing, as the bill per- 
tains to Colorado and Texas it specifically limits rt to the San Luis 
Valley project and the Valley Gravity Canal project of Colorado and 
Texas, respectively. Then it goes on to say, "Central Valley projects, 
California," and it has been a little confusing so far as the committee 
is concerned as to just how extensive the implications are. 

Senator Downey. You heard the testimony on the Tulare Lake 
region yesterday which is flooded and irrigated by the same rivers and 
the same water that irrigates the Central Valley project. You heard 
it on the Kings River yesterday. 

Now, the lawyers themselves differ as to the "definitions of what 
constitutes "Central Valley projects." It is quite a technical discus- 
sion. There are men here, both in the Bureau and in my own group, 
who are better prepared to say that. As far as I am concerned, I am 
very willing to have the bill read either "Central Valley project" or 
"Central Valley projects." There is Mr. Kaupke shaking his head at 
me. I do not know what he is shaking his head about, but he is the 
water master of the Kings River project on which you heard testimony 
yesterday. 

Xow, Mr. Kaupke, what do you think this language should be, 
project or projects ? 

Mr. Kaupke (water master, Kings River project). Senator, we 
on Kings River are not in the Central Valley project as presently 
authorized. I think we are all agreed on that. 

Kings River is a separate entity, but construction had started on the 
Kings River project and we are just as close up against this contract- 
ing with the Bureau as any unit in the Central Valley. "We have the 
same thing before us and we have the same question of acreage lim- 
itation. 

Senator Dowxey. Mr. Chairman, I would make this suggestion, that 
temporarily we pass that until I can have a conference with the law- 
yers and engineers on this subject ; then I can report to the committee 
again. 

However, nry request remains to Mr. Warne to designate any large 
parcel of good land presently unirrigated in any of the authorized 
Central Valley projects. 

Senator Ectox. Let me say - 

Mr. Warne (interposing) . I am sure they will be able to do that. 

Senator Ectox. Let me say in passing that in view of the explana- 
tions I do not want Air. Warne to think that we are unduly critical 
of him for reaching out and possibly taking in some extra territory. 
I can see where you have, under the wording of this bill, legitimate 
reason to properly refer to others which may be contemplated or might 
be constructed even at a future date. 

Senator Dowxey. Mr. Chairman, if I may make this further ex- 
planation. Over in what we term the west side of the valley there 
are several holdings running 5,000, 10,000—1 do not know — up to 15 
to 25 thousand acres. One of them was spoken of here today. In 
that area some very large tracts have been developed by costly pump- 
ing installations because it has very deep water and therefore could 
not be developed in small acreages. 



230 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Now, that is not a project of any kind. It has not been authorized 
as such, so far as I know. It has not even been considered by anyone 
as a project. 

Now, the Bureau of Reclamation will have that area completely 
under its control, if 5 or 10 or 15 years, or 20 or 50 years from now, we 
decide to take water to the west side. There is no reason the witness 
should not discuss these lands that are not in any authorized project. 
But my question did not go to the west side. Admittedly, there are 
lands there that are very good. The good lands have been irrigated 
up to the full amount of the water supply. The people over there are 
utilizing all the water available for the best lands they can find, but 
there are undoubtedly several hundred thousand acres of good land 
out there that have not been irrigated. 

Senator Ecton. This may not have any bearing on the case, but I 
would like say, Senator Downey, that it seems in fairness to the com- 
mittee in asking the committee to pass upon the suspension of the rules 
in this particular bill, that we are entitled to know what on specific 
projects we are asked to make a suspension of the rule. 

Senator Downey. I wholly agree with that, Senator, and I think 
Mr. Hyatt in his presentation of the survey of 2,300,000 acres at- 
tempted to make a survey of all lands within the presently author- 
ized projects of what he considers the Central Valley project. But I 
would suggest, Mr. Chairman, that I have a further conference with 
my own people. There has been a serious difference of opinion as to 
whether it should be project or projects. But I agree with the chair- 
man that certainly there should be a clarification of exactly what area 
is being exempted under the bill if the bill is passed. 

Senator Ecton. We will be glad to pass that at this time, Senator, 
for clarification. 

Senator Downey. Yes. 

Senator Ecton. Proceed, Mr. Warne. 

Mr. Warne. Mr. Chairman, the Bureau of Reclamation has felt 
that whether this applies to the presently authorized Central Valle}' 
project or wh ether it applies to all of the authorized projects within 
the Central Valley, that it would set the pattern for development 
under the reclamation laws of the entire Central Valley area. I am 
sure that others will argue, as Mr. Kaupke has, that any additional 
project ought to be treated the same way; we feel also that the Kings 
River project and the other projects that are authorized ought to be 
treated as is the Central Valley project under the reclamation laws. 

We have been holding to that through thick and thin during the 
past several years. 

Senator Downey. Now, Mr. Chairman, if I may intervene to say 
this: 1 think it is true that all of the Central Valley Basin, generally 
speaking, is underlaid by underground waters and is privately owned 
and, of course, the question would arise when we do have a project 
for the west side whether with the underground waters there and the 
private ownership there is any way of enforcing an acreage limitation. 
But it is quite a different condition, to my mind, because in the pres- 
ent ly authorized Central Valley project the large acreages are a rare 
exception. The average holding is very small. There are a few 
large tracts, as developed by the Bureau of Reclamation and by Mr. 
Hyatt. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 231 

On the west side, which is not in the project, where there is under- 
ground water, there are presently large holdings. 

If it is a fact — make that assumption — that lands in the Tule Lake 
region, the Klamath reclamation district, are presently being held at 
and selling — just raw land at $300 an acre, would the implication 
from your statement be that it then becomes an unsafe financial dis- 
trict for the Government? If that is a fact, you say you think the 
land is worth $100 an acre. Let us assume it is actually being leased 
and sold on the basis of $300 an acre without any improvements. Xow, 
is the implication of your remarks that the project becomes an unsafe 
venture for the Federal Government ? 

Mr. Warne. The implications of my remark, and the intent, the 
idea I am trying to convey here, is that when unimproved land is sold 
at prices that tend to equal the prices of the land after it has been 
irrigated that the settler is in jeopardy and that the United States' 
investment is jeopardized. 

Senator Downey. What difference does it make whether the specu- 
lation takes place before the irrigation or after? Suppose in either 
event you come out with $300, whether the advantage is taken before 
irrigation or after, you have the same burden for the purchaser to 
carry. 

Mr. Warne. That is not the case in my judgment, Senator Downey. 
Under the law, land on which recordable contracts are necessary before 
or after irrigation, must be sold at a price which does not reflect the 
value of the project water. 

Senator Downey. But assuming that to be true ; let us assume two 
cases, that up in Tule Lake, due to investment speculation before irri- 
gation, there has been an increment which results in land being held 
at three times its value, and according to you, is being sold at $300. 
Assume that that increment takes place after ; are you arguing to this 
committee that there would be any difference in the financial position 
of the district? 

Mr. Warne. If the land in any district, unimproved land, irrig- 
able land that is unimproved, is being sold to settlers at the prices that 
improved irrigated land should bring, I say that the district, the 
Federal Government, and the settler is in jeopardy. We have stopped 
such speculation prior to completion of a project in a number of 
areas by the single expedient of making known to the public the 
amount of construction charges which will be levied against those 
lands. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Warne, I like to talk about definite things, 
not generalities. Let us talk about Tule Lake. 

Mr. Warne. If you talk about the 86 farms 

Senator Downey (interposing). May I complete this, please? 

Mr. Warne. Surely. 

Senator Downey. I just had a man who testified here yesterday who 
made a survey of the Tule Lake region. I sent him to the Orland 
project so we could talk about it. He tells me you cannot buy land 
there without improvements for less than $300 an acre and it is sell- 
ing and leasing on that basis. 

Now, you expressed the opinion that intrinsically it is not worth 
more than $100 an acre. Xow let us assume that his statement is cor- 
rect and that your statement is correct, that it is selling at $300 an 



232 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

acre or a 200 percent inflation. I am asking you this, and it admits 
of a simple categorical answer. In your opinion, does that condition 
place the Government in a bad financial condition in relation to the 
finances of that district ? 

Mr. Warne. Assuming that condition, yes. And just so long as 
construction charges against that land remained unpaid, I would ad- 
vocate full publicity to all purchasers of just what they might get 
into if they purchased land at such speculative prices. 

Senator Downey. All right. 

Mr. Warne. Now, I would like to say, if I might, that on the 86 
farm units that we opened there for settlement, the lands were not 
unimproved. They have been irrigated, the crop was in. Also, I 
know of no privately owned land that is about to be irrigated in the 
Tule Lake area. 

Senator Downey. I am talking about your publicly irrigated land 
that is there now which you say veterans will be able to sell off at any 
price. That the veterans there can sell it at any price now. It is 
being sold. 

Mr. Warne. Well, in the first place there is no excess land on that 
project in large holdings. Then those veterans cannot sell until they 
have proved their titles under homestead law and, finally, we have 
not completed our contract with them for payment of construction 
They now receive water on a rental basis. 

Senator Downey (interposing) . Do you not mean, Mr. Warne, that 
this Government would be in the same relative jeopardy provided the 
Government went ahead and supplied water to that land? Is that 
not what you mean ? 

Mr. Warne. That is right. Now, I know of no private land up 
there, unimproved private land that is about to be irrigated. It is 
all public land. 

Senator Downey. No, is not nearly all of it private now ? I mean 
what is opened by the settlers, the veterans. That is private land. 

Mr. Warne. What is owned by the veterans is not unimproved land. 

Senator Downey. It is irrigated lands, would you say? 

Mr. Warne. Yes, sir ; I would not say there is any chance for spec- 
ulation as I have been discussing it on that land. 

Senator Downey. I will not follow that any further at this time, 
Mr. Warne. 

Mr. Warne. I do not mean to be obstinate, Senator Downey, but 
I do not see that it falls in the same category. 

Senator Ecton. There is no obstinacy here; we are just trying to 
get the facts. 

Senator Downey. I was not intimating there was. The point, one 
point we will make a little later, that land in this reclamation district 
of the same quality is selling at the same comparative price as land 
down in the Madera or Central Valley, or the Imperial. That en- 
hancement of land values now exists all over the State ; undoubtedly, 
land is being bought and sold for a lot more than it is worth, and 
time may vindicate Mr. Warne — and maybe land being sold for 
$300 an acre is only worth $100. 

Mr. Warne. It vindicated me after the last war when farm land 
was sold at two or three times the actual value and foreclosures 
occurred all over the country. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 233 

Senator Downey. I want to point this out to the Assistant Com- 
missioner. Of course, the Government itself now has projects for 
private lands supplemental projects that I do not care particularly 
to discuss, in which the land, comparatively speaking, is selling at a. 
far higher price and yet the Bureau of Reclamation is before this 
Congress urging those projects. I do not care to continue the argu- 
ment. But if the stability of the finances of the Government is de- 
pendent upon how people may buy and sell land, after they get title 
to it, well, the Government then is in an unfortunate condition. I 
thought the Government had a first lien on that land and was sure 
to get its money back. And if they do not get the money back 
and the land begins to sell too high, I say the Government is in a 
very bad condition all over the West, because where title has vested 
in the settlers it is being sold at those same prices, relatively, almost 
everywhere in every reclamation project, Mr. Warne. 

Mr. Warne. We have controls on him on these new projects except 
publicity. 

Senator Downey. That is right. I am talking about the place where, 
the controls have now lapsed because of time or something, 

Mr. Warne. For the most part, those projects are far more nearly 
paid out. You have a more stable culture there, agriculture. Now 
obviously you cannot control the entire field of land speculation in 
a reclamation law because we do not deal with all lands and I would 
not advocate an attempt to do that ; but it seems to me after a study 
of this through the years, that the progress that has been made in the 
reclamation program to control the speculative nature of land opera- 
tion on reclamation projects ought to be retained. The records are just 
replete with difficulties of all these types that I have mentioned : dif- 
ficulty to the settlers, difficulties to the irrigation districts, difficulty 
to the Federal Government on those projects where they did have un- 
controlled land speculation, and it would be most difficult to justify a 
continuing reclamation program in the face of a runaway land boom 
on a great reclamation project. 

I got called pretty severely because town lots were selling at ex- 
cessive and speculative prices in Moses Lake, a town in the Columbia 
Basin project, when I was before the Appropriations Committee of 
the House. 

Senator Ecton. That was not the fault of yourself. 

Mr. Warne. It was not and we explained it to the committee. The 
subject came up because of an article that appeared in Collier's 
Magazine, a national publication. We explained that the reference 
was only to town lots and that the article said that the farm lands 
were not being sold in boom conditions. The explanation was 
accepted. 

Senator Ecton. Let us take a hypothetical case : Suppose the bona 
fide owner owned 160 acres clearly within the limitation as provided 
in the law, and the Beclamation Service put water on his land. He 
contracts to take that water. You are satisfied with the contract. You 
are satisfied with the security. Suppose that man turns around and 
cuts this 160 acres up into 20-acre plots at the time you put water on 
them. We will say it was worth $100 an acre and he sells it for $200 
an acre after cutting it up. What control does the Department have 
under the law to control that inflation as we term it? What do you 
do? 



234 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Warne. Under our practice, on some of the projects, we have 
an incremental value contract that we negotiate with the owner of 
that 160 acres which requires in the event he sells the land at a price 
in excess of the appraised value, that one half of the amount of the 
purchase price in excess of the appraisal be applied on the construc- 
tion charge for the land he has sold. 

Senator Ecton. Would you not have the same right to do the same 
thing with the land if it had 320 acres or 600 acres or 1000 acres 
to do that, Mr. Warne? 

Mr. Warne. Now, you have asked me for an interpretation of 
the law. 

Mr. Fix. On what you were speaking of first, that is nonexcess 
only. He is controlled by the incremental value contract. 

Senator Ecton. I understand that, but first I want to determine 
what powers you have over the owner who is within the limitation 
and then granting that the limitation was removed, would you not 
have the same powers over the excess land ? 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, may I intervene before he 
answers ? 

Mr. Warne, you are not leading the chairman to believe that you 
have any such contract contemplated for the Central Valley, are you ? 

Mr. Warne. No, sir. I do not mean to let him believe that we 
have a contract of that nature in mind on the Central Valley project. 
However, on other projects, including projects in his own State, I 
believe, we do have such contracts. 

Senator Downey. Are those public-land projects? 

Mr. Warne. No. 

Senator Downey. Well, all I wanted pointed out is just what the 
chairman suggested was undoubtedly true in the Central Valley; as 
you intend to work on that man with 160 acres who could break it up 
into 20-acre tracts and sell it for two or three times what it is worth. 

Now, in the Central Valley — excuse me, Mr. Chairman, I would 
like to get back to the Central Valley. That is what we are dealing 
with. 

Mr. Fix. That is true of Central Valley but I wanted to explain 
to the chairman, if I could, that the mechanics for restrictions on 
speculation in excess land is different from the mechanics used for 
preventing speculation in nonexcess lands. The mechanics for dealing 
with speculation in excess land is set forth in section 46 of the Omnibus 
Adjustment Act of 1926. 

Senator Ecton. What would it be, providing the rules were 
suspended ? 

Mr. Warne. Acreage limitations were suspended ? 

Mr. Fix. If the rules on acreage limitation were suspended, I do 
not see that there would be any brake at all on speculation. 

Senator Ecton. That is what I am trying to find out, whether the 
Bureau of Reclamation would have the same powers. 

Mr. Fix. No, sir. 

Senator Ecton. If the rules were suspended as they have been over 
the landowner who is within his limitation according to the law 

Mr. Fix. No; I do not see that we have any control at all. 

Senator Ecton. What I am trying to determine is what difference 
it makes so far as this speculation is concerned whether a man has 
160 acres or 500 acres or 1,000 acres, do you not see ? 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 235 

Mr. Fix. Yes, sir. 

Senator Ecton. As far as the speculation angle is concerned. 

Mr. Fix. If this bill were passed, as I would see it, you would have 
no brake at all on the amount for which the excess owner could sell 
his land. 

Mr. Warne. In other words 

' Senator Ecton (interposing). You would put him under the same 
contract that you do the man that comes within the limitation, for in- 
stance ? And as I understand it, the excess landowner, if it were per- 
mitted under the law, would come in under the same terms as the man 
with the limitations, is that not correct, Senator Downey ? 

Senator Downey. I think that in the Central Valley project there 
is no way they can limit either a man under 160 acres or a man over. 
And I do not believe they make any claims they can, unless the man, 
voluntarily, Mr. Chairman, signs what we term a recordable contract, 
giving the Secretary the power to sell his land at the price the Secre- 
tary believes he should have. 

If the excess landowner, in order to get water, wants to go in and 
sign what is called a recordable contract, he thereby, for a period of 
10 years under their plan, subjects himself to an option in favor of 
the Secretary who can sell his land at the end of that time, if he has 
not sold it at some price satisfactory to the Secretary before. 

But there is no possible way any excess landowner can be dissuaded 
or prevented from selling his land at any price he wants even though 
the project goes into effect, and even though the law remains the way 
it is. And, of course, Mr. Chairman, I want to say this: Our agri- 
culturists are most of all concerned about the small farmer being 
unable to make a living on 20 or 40 acres of land when low prices 
come again — exactly what you pointed out could happen in the Cen- 
tral Valley, and, heaven help us, probably will to a greater or lesser 
extent — happen to a man with 160 acres or 320 acres; or if he has 
made a technical compliance, 1,000 acres; he. will go out and sell at 
an excessive price and the man will buy at an excessive price, and that 
certainly is to be deplored whether it is a home or whether it is a store 
or whether it is a farm ; but I do not know any way that the Govern- 
ment or society can protect a man if he wants to buy a home for twice 
what it is worth or a farm or a store in times of inflation. 

Senator Ecton. I agree with Senator Downey, and that is what I 
was trying to find out — how much control the Bureau would have over 
dealings of that sort. 

Mr. Warne. We think our authority, stems from the provisions of 
the law that S. 912 is designed to remove. 

Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question ? Do 
you claim that in the case of an excess landowner in the Central Valley 
who does not sign a recordable contract, if the law continues as now, 
that you will have any control ? 

Mr. Warne. If he does not sign a recordable contract, we will have 
no control. That is certainly true. 

I would like to submit for the record a copy of one of these specu- 
lation-control contracts. This one is for the Arch Hurley Conservancy 
District, Tucumcari project, down in New Mexico. 

Senator Ecton. We will be glad to insert it. 



236 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

(The sample agreement referred to is as follows:) 

United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, 
Tucumcabi Project, New Mexico 

agreement concerning future sale of lands within the arch hurt t 
conservancy district 

This agreement, made this day of , 19 — , under the provi; ions of 

the act of June 17, 1902 (32 Stat. 388), and acts amendatory thereof or btii 
mentary thereto, including the act of April 9, 1938, Public Law 477, Seven- 
( !ongress, third session, between the United States of America, hereinafte- 
the United States, represented by the officer executing this contract and 
and , hereinafer collectively styled the Landowner, 

Witnesseth, That 

2. Whereas pursuant to the requirements contained in said act of Cor uess 
approved April 9, 1938, authorizing the construction of the Tucumcari F _al 
irrigation project, the United States and the Arch Hurley Conservancy Dis vict 

have entered into a contract herein called the District contract, dated , a 

copy of which is on tile in the office of said district in the city of Tucumcari. . v 
County, N. Mex., articles 30, 31, and 32 of which provide for execution of n 

contracts by owners of irrigable land under the project and for the valuat: . . id 
certain conditions of sale of such lands, the said article 30, among other thu ;s, 
providing, in part, as follows : 

"30. No water shall be furnished to the lands (a) of any owner of mor - ;han 
160 irrigable acres under the project who refuses or fails to execute a coi set 
in form approved by and satisfactory to the Secretary, by which said own nis 
successors-, and assigns shall be obligated to sell all of his land in excels o -30 
irrigable acres under the project at or below prices and within the time fixeu by 
the Secretary, or (b) to any lands to be irrigated under the project urn' 
owners thereof shall have executed contracts in form to be approved by a 
isfactory to the Secretary, by which they will agree that if their land is soux at 
prices above the appraised value thereof approved by the Secretary, one-halt' of 
such excess shall be paid to the United States to be applied in the inverse u 'der 
of the due dates upon the construction charge installments coming due thei ^ ,.f ter 
from the owner of said lands." 

3. Now, therefore, in consideration of the direct or indirect benefits to be derived 
by the hereinafter-described lands under the terms of the said district c ..act 
and as an inducement to the United States to undertake the construction Aid ' 
project, the landowner, for himself, his executors, administrators, heirs, -.icces- ■ 
sin's, and assigns, agrees and covenants, all of which agreements and co^ . ^ts 
are and each of them hereby is made a charge upon the landowner's said ] ein- 
after-desci ibed lands to run with the title to the same, as follows : 

4. The landowner is the owner of certain land situate in Quay Conn ad 
within the Arch Hurley Conservancy District, State of New Mexico, whic : ^nd 
and the agreed appraised values thereof within the meaning of articles C-, 31, 
and 32 of said district contract, are as follows : 

Description of land Appraised value 



5. The landowner agrees that until there have been made on account of said 
above-described lands all construction cost repayments provided for .i .id 
district contract the same shall be and remain, except as herein otherwu pro- 
vided, subject to the terms of this contract and of articles 30, 31, and 32 of said 
district contract to the same extent and to the same intent and purpose as 
though said articles 30, 31, and 32 had been set forth at length herein. 

6. From the date of This contract, the landowner agrees that if any of the 
lands above described are sold, they will be sold at prices not exceeding the 
appraised values thereof above set out, or as said appraised values may be 
amended as provided in article 31 (d) of the district contract, and the landowner 
agrees that when sales are made, he will endeavor to sell and convey only to 
bona lido settlors, and will sell and convey in farm units of not more'than 320 
u>-v<>* in each unit if sold to a husband and wife, and not more than 160 acres 
in each unit if sold to a single person. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 237 

,. The lands described in article 4 hereof are lands which, at the date of this 

contract, are assumed to be potentially irrigable, but it is understood that the 

inclusion of these lands in this contract shall not be regarded as a representation 

of the irrigability of all or any of the lands. A further designation of areas 

'>e considered irrigable under the project, for the purposes of this and similar 

c i> tracts only, will be made by the Secretary prior to January 1, 1041, or as soon 

•r as, in the opinion of the Secretary, progress on the works will permit. 

1 wing such designation of irrigable areas, any of the lands described in 

article:!, not included in such designation shall, by a recordable instrument to be 

ate, I by the Secretary, or his duly authorized agent, be released from the 

<f this agreement, effective from the date of its execution by the Secretary. 

J Xonexcess lands : Notice to designate nonexcess lands will be given by 

; etary, after the irrigable area of the project has been designated as pro- 
1 in article 7. Nonexcess lands comprise ownerships of not more than 160 
aci^ : of irrigable lands where the landowner is a single person, and of not more 
thai, g20 acres if the landowner is a husband and wife. Within 30 days after 
ii" -to designate nonexcess lands is received by the landowner, he shall file 
in i ..office of the district, in duplicate, one copy thereof to be furnished by the 
distl ot to the Bureau of Reclamation, his written designation and description of 

>p selected to be nonexcess lands and upon failure to do so the district 
ike designation and mail a notice thereof to the landowner, whereupon 
h< become bound by such action. 

Until there have been made on account of said lands so designated as 
non xcess lands all construction cost repayments provided for in said district 
contr r '(:;t, the lands so designated as nonexcess lands shall be subject to the 

.ind provisions of this contract relating to nonexcess lands and article 
31 ol !},fe said district contract. 

ppon each sale or transfer of any of the lands so designated as nonexcess 
lan< h, or any part thereof, at a sale price in excess of the appraised value of 
s; ,: ' 'nd as herein set opposite the description thereof, the landowner, his 
e s, administrators, heirs, successors, or assigns shall pay to the United 

f t to be applied in the inverse order of due dates upon the construction 
charge installments coming due thereafter from the owners of said nonexcess 
lands^at the time of such sale or transfer, an amount determined in the manner- 
sped, a in article 31 of said district contract; namely, one-half the amount in 
dollars by which the sale price of the said nonexcess land in the first sale subject 
to the provisions hereof exceeds the sum of the approved, appraised value of such 
none . ". ss land, the value of any subsequent improvements appraised as provided 
in s \ ■ ision (d) of said article 31 and the amount of any payment made on the 
orojet^ ^construction cost on account of such nonexcess lands; and in case of 
eacli .«;/ ^sequent sale, the amount to be paid to the United States shall be one- 
half 'the amount by which the subsequent sale price exceeds the sum of 
(i) f7 "highest preceding sale price, determined by considering said first and 
all Ing sales, and (ii) these items affecting the land since said highest 

pre< ,-, sale: improvements made or placed on the nonexcess land appraised 
as provided in said subdivision (d) ; and any payment made on the project 
construction cost applicable to such nonexcess lands, exclusive of credits pur- 
suant to said article 31, which amount if not paid at the time of any such sale 
or transfer shall bear interest at the rate of 6 percent per annum from date 
of sj ", : __ until payment thereof is actually made; provided, that only such 
amoui: : shall be paid to the United States as will equal the unpaid construction 
charge on said nonexcess land according to the district's records where 50 per- 
cent oft, the incremented value exceeds the balance of the unpaid charges. 

9. s lands: (a) All of the said lands hereinabove in article 4 described, 

not -Qt v^tgnated as nonexcess lands in accordance with article 8 hereof, and 
not released from the terms of this contract in accordance with article 7 
hereof, shall be and are in this contract hereinafter referred to as excess 
lands within the meaning of article 32 of said district contract and until 
there have been made on account of said excess lands all construction cost 
repayments provided for in said district contract such excess lands shall be 
and remain subject to the provisions of this article and of article 32 of said 
district contract to the same extent and to the same intent and purpose as 
though the same had been set forth at length herein. 

(fc) From and after the designation of the nonexcess lands, the landowner 

agrees to offer for sale at prices not exceeding the appraisal value thereof, 

all that part of the excess lands not theretofore sold; and the landowner 

further agrees to offer said excess lands for sale and to endeavor to sell them 

62453 — 47 16 



238 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

to bona fide settlers in farm units of not more than 320 acres in each unit 
if sold to a husband and wife, and of not more than 160 acres in each unit if 
sold to a single person ; and that thereafter he will neither sell nor convey 
more than 320 irrigable acres of such excess lands to any husband and wife 
or more than 160 irrigable acres of such excess lands to any single person, nor 
otherwise than as herein provided ; 

(c) The landowner does by this agreement make, constitute, and appoint the 
Secretary of the interior and his successors in office, the landowner's lawful 
attorney* effective and irrevocable for a period of 10 years commencing 1 year 
after date of the first water rental charge notice affecting the said excess lands 
given under article 10 of said district contract or the date of the construction 
charge notice given under article 8 (b) of said district contract, whichever of 
said dates is the earlier, and does hereby authorize and empower the said Secre- 
tary or his successors in office, to sell and transfer any and all of the said 
excess lands in this article above described the legal or equitable title to which 
shall at that time be in the name of the landowner, to whomever the Secretary 
may deem best, and on the terms and conditions herein and in said district 
contract defined and at not less than the appraised prices as aforesaid, giving and 
granting unto the said Secretary and his successors in office full power and 
authority to do and perform every act whatsoever requisite and necessary to 
be done in the sale of said excess lands as fully and to all intents and purposes 
as the landowner may do to effect full compliance with the terms of this agreement. 

(d) None of the said excess lands in this article described shall be entitled 
to receive water until the same shall have been sold to a person qualified to 
receive water therefor under the provisions of the reclamation law, said district 
contract, and this agreement, in full compliance with the provisions thereof ; 

(e) When any of the said excess lands covered by this contract shall have 
been transferred in accordance with the provisions hereof, either before or 
after designation of irrigable areas as contemplated in article 7, to qualified 
water users in units of not more than 320 acres to any husband and wife and 
not more than 160 acres to any single person, the said lands so transferred 
shall thereupon become and remain subject to and be governed by the terms and 
provisions of said district contract applicable to nonexcess lands, including the 
provisions of article 31 of said district contract and the provisions of article 8 
of this agreement. 

10. No future sale or sales of any of the lands hereinabove in article 4 described 
shall carry the right to receive water for such lands unless such sale is made 
in accordance with the provisions of this agreement and the provisions of said 
district contract. 

11. The landowner hereby ratifies, confirms, and consents to the terms of 
the said district contract and that the same shall be and become a part of this 
agreement by reference. 

12. This agreement shall constitute the contract contemplated by the above- 
quoted portion of article 30 of the said district contract. 

13. The remedies provided in this contract and the said district contract 
for the enforcement thereof are cumulative and in addition to all other remedies 
otherwise available to the United States and the district, including the with- 
holding of water and other remedies of a like or different class. 

14. No Member of or Delegate to Congress or Resident Commissioner shall 
be admitted to any share or part of this contract or to any benefit that may 
arise herefrom, but this restriction shall not be construed to extend to this 
contract if made with a corporation or company for its general benefit. 

In witness whereof the parties have hereto signed their names the day and 
year first above written. 

The United States of America, 
By . 

acknowledgment 
State of New Mexico, 

County of , ss: 

On this „ day of , 19__, before me personally appeared 

to be known to be the person described 

in and who executed the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged that 

executed the same as free act and deed. 

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my official seal 
the day and year in this certificate first above written. 



My commission expires 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 



239 



Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, at this point, in speaking of the 
ability of these Central Valley lands to carry the obligation to the 
Federal Government for the construction of this project, I want to 
say that I thoroughly agree with Mr. Warne that if the Government 
is promoting or helping to build a project with unproductive lands, 
it certainly should attempt to see to whatever extent it can that there 
is not an orgy of speculation. But by the figures I have here I want 
to show the conditions in the Central Valley. There we are already 
in so highly developed production that this Government is assured 
many, many times over of the ability of the land to support the 
project. I was going to put this in anyway, and I think this is a 
good time to do it. 

This is a memorandum I have prepared on Central Valley crop 
production compared with production on all lands presently irrigated 
by the Bureau of Reclamation. 

In the magnitude of its crop production, the Central Valley counties — spe- 
cifically, the valley floor counties — exceed by a wide margin the value of crop 
production from all other lands to which the Bureau of Reclamation is supplying 
water. 

According to the Bureau of Reclamation's reports the total crop values in the 
year 1944 from 4,139,349 acres under cultivation in Federal reclamation projects 
as well as in Warren Act lands and lands under water service contracts with the 
Bureau amounted to $411,226,364. A small part of this— about $9,533,000— was 
from the Central Valley where some water was sold on special contracts. 

Compared with slightly more than $411,000,000 of production on all lands 
served by the Bureau of Reclamation, the value of crops in the counties which 
make up the valley floor of the Central Valley amounted to approximately $570,- 
000,000 in 1944. The total acreage of crops harvested in the valley floor area that 
year was somewhat more than 4,129,000 acres, according to the 1945 census 
of agriculture. 

The crop values in 1944 from this valley floor area — approximately $570,000,- 
000 — were about 40 percent greater than crops from all lands then served by the 
Bureau of Reclamation. 

(The statement of value of crops harvested in 1944 in counties 
within the valley floor of the Central Valley follows :) 



Value of crops harvested in 1944 ™ counties within the valley floor of the Central 
Valley project, California, according to the 1945 census of agriculture 



San Joaquin Valley 


Value of har- 
vested crops 
(1944) 


Sacramento Valley ' 


Value of har- 
vested crops 
(1944) 


County: 


$19,916,560 
89, 425, 943 
98, 738, 768 
16, 792. 813 
26, 353, 802 
40, 696, 350 
77, 272, 010 
69, 431, 303 


County: 

Sacramento 


$20, 639, 907 


Tulare 


Yolo 


21,305,226 




Colusa.. . . 


12. 173, 682 




Tehama ... .... 


3, 925, 699 




Shasta . ... . 


1, 492, 770 




Butte. 


15, 046, 736 




Placer 


5, 750, 294 




Sutter 


26, 460. 813 




Yuba 


3. 756, 751 




Glenn... . _. . 


8, 608, 980 




Total 




Total 


438, 627, 549 


119,160,858 









SUMMARY 

San Joaquin Valley crop values T $438,627,549 

Sacramento Valley crop values 119,160,858 

Estimated crop values in the delta areas of Contra Costa and Solano Counties 12, 200, 000 

Total for valley floor area, partly estimated 569, 988, 407 



240 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Warne. There is not any question about the San Joaquin Valley 
being among, if not the most productive area and presently irrigated 
in our country — presently farmed for that matter. I do not question 
that. 

It is a matter of pride to any Californian. But all of the land you 
mentioned will not be assessable for Central Valley construction be- 
cause only a fraction of it will be served by the project. 
Senator Ecton. That is high-priced land, is it not '( 
Senator Downey. You cannot buy much of that highly-developed 
land for less than $1,000 an acre, maybe $1,500 or $2,000 — probably 
twice what it is worth over the years. To send veterans out farming 
in this period of enhanced costs would be a great mistake and anyone 
who encourages it should be censured for putting a veteran in that posi- 
tion. If we are going to start him out, let us wait until these lands drop 
to maybe a half or third of what they are now. 

Mr. Warne. The unimproved lands, the unirrigated but irrigable 
lands, in my judgment, are far more attractive for settlement of vet- 
erans out there in the Central Valley project as water became available 
for them. They are not all selling at $1,000 an acre at the present time. 
Mr. Johnstone has figured on the prices for which lands are actually 
selling now in the valley, both irrigated and unirrigated. 

Senator Ecton. That is primarily in the excess-land holdings, is 
it not? 

Mr. Warne. Most of the unimproved land is in fairly large hold- 
ings — most of it. 

Senator Ecton. As I understood from the testimony given 
yesterday or the day before, the excess owner would not necessarily 
have to dispose of this excess land until 10 years would have elapsed 
after the Government gets water on the land; is that correct? 
Mr. Warne. Yes. 

Senator Ecton. So when we are speaking of veterans, as far as this 
excess land is concerned, we can reasonably draw the conclusion that 
it would be at leas 15 or 16 years before a veteran would have a chance 
at it. 

Mr. Warne. That would be the maximum period allowed, yes. He 
does not have to sell it until 10 years has gone by but he is expected and 
urged to sell it during that 10-year period. Some of it would come 
on earlier than that. 

Senator Ecton. In view of what Senator Downey said about the 
great productivity of the South and the high prices that are obtainable 
under this inflationary period, it is quite doubtful if any of these land- 
owners would consider disposing of it until the time limit — is that not 
a fact ? 

Mr. Warne. Of course, if these prices continue for 15 years, why 
probably the veteran could afford to buy it at the present land prices. 
It is feared that the farm prices will go down. That would make it 
more attractive for the OAvners to sell. 

Senator Ecton. Yes, I grant that but the veteran can not buy it 
until the owner decides to sell. That is what I am getting at. 
Mr. Warne. That is true. 

Senator Ecton. Just the fact that he has this excess acreage is not 
a sign that any veteran can move in and get hold of it for at least 10 
years or longer than 10 years — after the Bureau of Reclamation 
delivers water on that land. 






CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 241 

Mr. Warne. That is true. 

Senator Doavxey. Mr. Chairman, as long as we are on this issue. I 
wonder if I can point it out by cross-examination of Mr. Warne at 

this time. 

Senator Ectox. Yes. 

Senator Downey. I have here a list of the largest parcels of land 
. in the district that were surveyed by the Bureau of Reclamation and 
the largest developed piece of land, wholly developed piece of land, 
is the Di Giorgio Fruit Corp. in the Arvin-Edison water storage dis- 
trict. It consists of 7,720 acres. Xow, as I stated yesterday, it is 
probable that there are 810.000.000 invested in that piece of property. 
It took something over a thousand dollars an acre, even before the war. 
to bring some of these highly specialized croplands into production. 

Xow, as I stated also, there are about 5.000 stockholders in that 
corporation, generally small holders, generally Italians scattered all 
over the United States. I have repeatedly asked the Bureau of Recla- 
mation what it is going to do with that piece of property. What are 
you going to do? What goal are you trying to reach? And I am 
asking Mr. Warne here now. There is the most efficient single farm- 
ing unit — at least that I know of. I spent 2 or 3 days there and I 
have gone all over it — it cost probably £1,100 or $1,200 an acre to 
bring into production. The owner refused 82,200 an acre for it re- 
cently. He is holding it at $3,000 and making interest on that. It 
probably is not worth one-half or one-third that over the years but 
he has refused these offers. The stockholders average a little more 
than 1 acre apiece in this property. 

Now, in the first place I have conferred with the attorneys of that 
corporation. They could not give any recordable contract if they 
wanted to. 

In the next place, I cannot believe any sane businessman would give 
a recordable contract giving the Secretary of the Interior a right to 
fix the sale price on that property. 

The University of California authorities assure me that breaking 
up that property into 20- or iO-acre farms would cut one-half the 
value out of the property. 

I am totally at a loss after years of conversation with Mr. Bashore, 
Mr. Straus, Mr. Warne. and Mr. Fix. all of these different officials, 
as to what idea they would possibly have in breaking that up. How 
would the veterans get money to buy it I 

Xow, if Mr. Warne would just talk to me like an attorney to a 
client or friend to friend, or as a businessman and say. ''Well. Senator 
Downey, we expect to do thus and so with the Di Giorgio holdings, 
I would have some light and illumination on it but I get nothing but 
blank stares or vague generalities about what happens in 1926 or 1913. 
I would like to ask 

Senator Ectox (interposing). Senator, did you ever figure how 
much 160 acres would cost on the basis of $2,200 an acre which you say 
he refused ? 

Senator Dowxet. Yes, I have. 

Senator Ectox. How much is it ? ■ 

Senator Dowxet. I would rather let you express it. Mr. Chairman. 
We will have a man here that will describe that entire property. 

Senator Ectox. I just figured it. If I did not make any mistakes 
here, it would come to just $352,000. 



242 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Downey. Well, even if you assume its value in low times of 

or $1,500 an acre. I still do not know where the veteran would 

be expected to get $40,000 or $60,000 to buv one of these 40-acre lots. 

Mr. Warne. Mr. Chairman, you are certainly not talking about pea- 
nuts when you talk about the land down here in the Central Valley 
project. 

Senator Ectox. I am beginning to realize that. If the 160 acres 
is worth $352,00 K how much is 5.000 acres worth ? And the law con- 
templates the division in some reasonable way of these lands. 

Mr. Warne. The 160 acres make a very good living for a family in 
the Central Valley of California. In fact, 20 acres of good grapes 
does. 

Senator Ectox. It should with that investment. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, if I may intervene again, that is 
typical of the answers I have gotten from representatives of the Bureau 
of Reclamation over the years. You ask them specifically what they 
would do to the holdings legally, practically, financially. Well, if you 
can make that amount of money out of 160 acres, why certainly that 
is a fine farm and very valuable. 

Mr. Warne, why do you not. one of you, just once sit down and 
counsel with your Senator and tell the Senator how you are going to 
attempt to do it I What would you do in relation to the one tract that 
has caused the most criticism S How would you handle it ? What are 
your ideas I Do you want to break it up or do you not want to break 
it up ? If you wanted to break it up, how would you accomplish it ? 
How are you going to pay for it if you do break it up? 

Mr. Warne. Senator Downey, it is not my desire or the desire of the 
Bureau of Reclamation that is involved here. Xow. if it is assumed at 
the beginning, and I am not going to make another assumption, that 
the public policy would best be served by continuing the Di Giorgio 
operation without any change, then our present reclamation law 
hardly fits that case. 

Senator Downey. That is right. 

Mr. Warne. But I would point out that there were two Di Giorgio 
holdings and I was taken to one and shown it in great detail. They 
had a great winery on it. and it had a private railroad operating there 
to bring the grapes into the winery. It was described as an integrated 
operation. It shipped its wines out in tank cars to Baltimore for 
bottling but they sold the winery right out of the middle of the prop- 
erty and it ceased to be an integrated operation. 

nator Downey. Now, Mr. Warne. may I intervene ? You are not 
familiar with the fact that Mr. Di Giorgio immediately started the 
erection of a larger and more modern winery I You are not familiar 
with tli at. are you \ 

Mr. Warne. No : I am not familiar with that. 

Senator Downey. Well, it is a fact and we will prove it. 

Mr. Warne. I was not familiar with that fact. 

S ■ r Downey. I was sure you were not. 

Mr. Warns. But I was informed that to touch this property would 
e a calamity in the Di Giorgio operation but he sold it and I 
believe he sold part of the lands as well. 

Senator Ectox. Would it not also be a kind of calamity for the 
community, Mr. Warne? 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 243 

Mr. Warne. Well, I do not want to disturb the agricultural economy 
of the Central Valley of California. If we can make this project 
which is designed to improve the economic conditions down there do 
nothing better than to clash headlong and damage the economy of the 
Central Valley, then one might wonder whether it is worth building ; 
but our experience has demonstrated, I think conclusively, that the 
reclamation law has operated to the benefit of communities all over 
the West. 

Senator Ecton. Generally speaking, that is recognized, I am sure. 

Mr. Warne. I feel confident that it is a demonstrated fact. 

Mr. Fix. I would like to add this too, Mr. Chairman : Speaking of 
the Di Giorgio tract — of course, there is no real reason why Di Giorgio 
cannot continue his same operations. He does not have to take water 
from us and he could continue to pump if he wants to. There is a 
limited supply of water and there are plenty of districts who can 
contract for the total amount of project water that we have available. 
If Di Giorgio is not interested in a project water supply under the 
conditions that we are in a position to offer he does not have to contract. 

Mr. Warne. I recognize the point that Senator Downey made that 
this Di Giorgio operation is in a deficient water supply area and you 
know when the well goes dry water must be obtained from some place 
else or the culture vanishes out there in that arid country. The 
project is designed to supplement the water supply of the southern 
San Joaquin area. 

Senator Ecton. Designed to supplement the underground water 
supply in that locality \ 

Mr. Warne. Underground and surface supply both, sir; it is not 
confined to underground. This is a very complex area. I felt, per- 
haps, some of the questions you asked earlier, I felt from them that 
we had not done a good enough job of describing what I am talking 
about. 

Senator Ecton I am at a disadvantage. You men are familiar 
with it by having been there and all I know is what you tell me. 

Mr. Warne. The irrigation is not all by surface supplies, nor all by 
pumping. The valley is not all subject to floods. 

Now, the Tulare Lake bottom tends to flood in wet seasons but while 
that is a large area of land, it is not a large proportion of the Central 
Valley of California and it is not a large proportion — well, it is not 
even within the Central Valley project as presently authorized. And 
projects now authorized will restrict to a very small area the part 
which will be subject to floods, anyway, when they are completed. 

This is a very rich valley with a frost-free belt that extends along the 
eastern foothills, which is the citrus belt, and most of the orange 
production of central and northern California is combined there. 

As you go farther down into the floor of the valley, you run into soft 
fruits and grapes and other crops of very high yields. About 90 or 
maybe 95 percent of all the raisins consumed in the United States are 
grown in this valley, in this area we are talking about here. The great 
melon deals and the lettuce deals are also practiced here, although not 
exclusively. 

Senator Downey. Could we get back to the subject, Mr. Warne ? 

Now Mr. Fix as a practical lawyer has made what is certainly a 
realistic suggestion. It is the only one that I have heard suggested 



244 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

by a Bureau of Reclamation representative, and if I understand the 
implication of his remark it is this: The district is in an increasingly 
precarious condition for lack of water. That is true. Some of the 
people are pumping two and three hundred feet which comes near to 
being the very economic level and if it goes beyond that they will 
have to let their ranches go back to the desert, and hence I suppose Mr. 
Fix's suggestion means we should not give them any water and Mr. 
Di Giorgio will thereby have to let his ranch go back to the desert or 
he will have to sell it off in 160- or 320-acre parcels. I think of that 
as being ethically wrong and dishonest. There are 5,000 stockholders 
who have pioneered there and developed this land. But let us say 
as a matter of public policy, and in obedience to a sociological prin- 
ciple, we should break it up. What will happen? It just happens 
that Mr. Di Giorgio's corporation is rich and has a large operation. 
I think it is the biggest fruit company in the United States. He has 
wells down l.TOO feet. We will have the specific figures here later 
on on the cost of pumping, but with his large pumps and his large 
area he can get a power rate and otherwise save money, so he can 
pump much more cheaply than the smaller man, and the other large 
man can too. Only 43 percent of this land in the Arvin-Edison is in 
excess parcels, Mr. Fix. If you attempt to drive Mr. Di Giorgio back 
to the desert or back to subdivision you are first going to ruin the 
small man. and I know that because I have talked to the small prop- 
erty owners down there. Why cannot they? They have not the cap- 
ital to keep going. They could not put down additional wells. They 
cannot pump as cheaply as Mr. Di Giorgio. 

Xo. Mr. Di Giorgio did not attain his present position through 
being a fool. He is making his calculations on the basis that the 
Bureau may never give him any water. He is prepared to buy up 
other land to diminish the withdrawal on surface supplies. He is 
prepared to make arrangements with neighbors as to the require- 
ments of certain lands. He believes that the first people that will be 
destroyed will generally be the nonexcess holders that the Bureau of 
Reclamation is so anxious to help. 

Again I come back to Mr. Warne, and Mr. Chairman, I think in 
fairness I may say this is typical of what has occurred between me 
and the Bureau of Reclamation representatives for years. I asked 
Mr. Warne a perfectly legitimate question. I have taken the big- 
gest developed fruit holding, so far as I know, in the whole Central 
Valley project. Here it is. I say that you cannot in any way work 
out the 160- acre limitation in respect to it. I now ask Mr. Warne 
again what does his Bureau desire or want to do in relation to Di 
Giorgio? I do not want to press you if you have no further answer 
than you have already made, Mr. Warne. I do not want- to press you, 
but have you any further explanation? So far. you have not said 
anything to me. Mr. Fix said something that was practical and real- 
istic. Just do not give them any water; that is one answer. 

Mr. Wabne. That is one answer. If they will not sign a recordable 
contract, then the water should be denied to them. 

Senator Downey. And do you think this sociological principle is 
of surh importance that to attain that end you. should take a chance 
of destroying the nonexcess landowners along with the excess land- 
owners ? 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 245 

Mr. Warne. I think the assumption may be valid that the nonexcess 
landowner would be prohibited from getting the surface waters. 
But 

Senator Downey (interposing). What, Mr. Warne? 

Mr. Warne. We are building to provide water to nonexcess- 



Senator Downey (interposing). If you give the nonexcess land- 
owner surface water, immediately a third or 40 percent of his water 
seeps into the ground and becomes available for underground pump- 
ing. Immediately 60 percent of the land would not be drawing upon 
the subterranean water and there would thereby be plenty of water 
for excess landowners. They are only 43 percent of the whole thing. 
In addition to that, Mr. Warne, any engineer will testify that this plan 
financially cannot work unless you use the underground plan of re- 
charging our depleted underground supply. 

Mr. Fix. I do not think as far as the Bureau is concerned, that that 
effect would eventuate, and I think the excess landowner using ground 
water would be charged. We take the position that the district can 
assess them on the same basis as the surface owner because there has 
been enhancement of value of his property and he can be made to 
carry part of the load. 

Senator Downey. Yes, Mr. Fix, and I do not think that you can 
say that with certainty but I do think there is a fair chance that Mr. 
Di Giorgio might be made to pay for underground replenishment. 
If I were the judge, I would so decide. But you have not accomplished 
anything, Mr. Fix, all you have done is to impede the operation of 
the whole district by attempting to checkerboard the district on your 
gravity supply. If you keep these excess landowners from getting 
surface water, they will get cheaper underground water. All over 
the valley, in the present districts, where they have surface and un- 
derground water, all of the people, almost all, prefer the underground 
water. Why? Because it is cheaper and they can handle it better. 
It is easier to control. So you might place the district in a position 
where the nonexcess landowner would have to take the surface water 
while the excess owner could either make a technical compliance, as it 
was worked out by us yesterday, or be thrown back upon the under- 
ground water. 

Senator Ecton. Senator Downey, do you have any further cross- 
examination ? 

Senator Downey. Yes : I would like to ask some further questions. 

Senator Ecton. Very well ; we will recess until 2 o'clock, and then 
you may resume. 

(Whereupon, at 12 : 45 p. m., the subcommittee recessed until 2 p. m. 
this day.) 

AFTERNOON SESSION 

The subcommittee reconvened at 2 : 15 p. m., pursuant to recess. 

Senator Ecton. The committee will be in order. 

We will proceed with cross-examination of Mr. Warne by Senator 
Downey from California. 

Mr. Warne, I have just been, advised that the President has sub- 
mitted your nomination to become Assistant Secretary of the In- t 
terior and may I congratulate you, Mr. Warne, on this recent clis-* 
ti net ion. 



246 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Warne. Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Dowxey. Let me join in those congratulations, and like- 
wise to the Bureau of Reclamation — to the Interior Department, let 
me say. 

Mr. Warne. Thank you. Senator Downey. I am deeply ap- 
preciative. 

STATEMENT OF WILLIAM E. WAHNE— Resumed 

Senator Dowxey. Mr. Warne, I hope that your examination this 
afternoon may consist of information, advice, and counsel from you 
to the committee and particularly to me as one of the Senators from 
California. 

Xow, as you know, over a long course of time and study I have be- 
lieved the IGO-acre limitation in the Central Valley is not workable. 
I assume, although you have not said so. that you believe it is workable. 

May I ask } t ou this question, and if it is one you prefer not to answer, 
I will certainl} T not press you. If. after you and I have discussed 
this under the able leadership and direction of the chairman, you 
should filially reach the conclusion in your own mind, that it is not 
practicable or possible to make effective the IGO-acre limitation in the 
Central Valley project, would you be free so to declare to this com- 
mittee? 

Mr. Warne. I think so. I am not under instructions not to use 
my own judgment in the matter, Senator Downey. 

If I have not said so. let me say that I do believe that the 160-acre 
law can be made to apply to the Central Valley project. I will con- 
cede the difficulties that we will have in doing so. 

Senator Downey. You do not mean that you make that statement 
categorically that the IGO-acre limitation can be applied to the project 
waters of the Bureau of Reclamation, do you ( 

Mr. Warne. Certainly to all the surface waters. 

Senator Downey. Well, but is it not true that about TO percent of 
the waters are to be underground? 

Mr. Warne. I have heard the discussion of the percentages but the 
class A waters, or the class 1 waters are considerably more than half, 
I believe, of the total water supply from the project. 

Senator Dowxey. Yes, but it is not true that of the class 1 waters 
that are supplied by way of surface application that one-third, prob- 
ably more rather than less, will flow down into underground reservoirs 
and will be available there for pumping. 

Mr. Warne. It is true that some of the water percolates down to 
the ground-water strata. 

Senator Downey. Mi-. Warne, as I have said here before, and the 
chairman will bear with me for repeating it, I hope, I am anxious to 
bring discussion out from the realm of generalities into concrete dis- 
cussion of fact. Therefore, one of the districts about which we made 
an intensive study is the Madera; consequently we have considerable 
to present on that district and I will be very happy later on for you 
to discuss any other areas you want, We have introduced the state- 
ment here of Harry Barnes, showing that it is the plan of the Bureau 
of Reclamation of the district that the district will buv 120,000 acre- 
feet of class 1, and 150,000 acre-feet of class 2 ; it has 20,000 acre-feet 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 247 

direct flow now from Fresno River and natural ground-water percola- 
tions are estimated to average 77,000 acre-feet annually, a total of 
367,000 acre-feet. 

Now, after allowing for the different factors involved, waste and 
surface water draining into the underground, Mr". Barnes makes the 
estimate that there will be a net pump use of 225,000 acre-feet, a net 
gravity use of about 102,000 feet totaling 327,000 acre-feet; so ap- 
proximately- 70 percent of the water of the Madera will be pumped 
and 30 percent subject to consumptive use by surface flow according to 
Mr. Barnes. I do not think the exact figures are very important. 

Mr. Warne. I know Mr. Barnes, and I would trust his figures. 
They are substantially correct. 

Senator Downey (handing paper to Mr. Warne). There are the 
papers, if you care to examine them. 

Now, Mr. Warne, you testified at considerable length, and I know 
very ably and very honestly, on the history of speculation in the recla- 
mation projects in the earlier years of the Reclamation Bureau history, 
dealing largely with public lands and partly, it is true, with private 
lands — generally, I think, with undeveloped lands. 

Mr. Warne. Yes, sir; over 1,600,000 acres were given a supply of 
supllemental water to private lands. 

Senator Downey. So I would like to bring this discussion of the an- 
tispeculation conditions of your law in to the Madera district down to 
concrete parcels of land. 

The largest parcel of land in one ownership, according to the records 
submitted, your own records, and that of Mr. Barnes, is about 2,700 
or 2,800 acres owned by Mr. Arakelian, who has a large winery and 
vineyard, and the testimony was that most wineries do have a substan- 
tial grape acreage upon which to rely. 

Mr. Barnes has also stated, and Mr. Harding has stated, that in the 
Madera water has to be pumped from about a 60-foot level and that 
there is a gradual depletion but an ample supply for a considerable 
period ahead of time. 

Will you tell me, if the law remains as it is, if we could not repeal the 
160-acre limitation any way, that you believe there could be any effec- 
tive antispeculation regulation by the Federal Government against the 
Arakelian tract? 

Mr. Warne. I think it would be made effective by the signing of a 
recordable contract. 

Senator Downey. Surely, if Mr. Arakelian could be induced by 
the Bureau of Reclamation to come in and say, Mr. Secretary of the In- 
terior, here is a recordable contract ; you have the right to fix the price 
on my property and sell it under certain conditions. Yes, that is true. 
Let us leave that for later discussions. If Mr. Arakelian wants to give 
the Secretary of Interior an option, you could do it, but do you know of 
any other way you could do it? Suppose he just says, I am not going 
to give any antispeculation recordable contract? What then could 
you do? 

Mr. Warne. That is the method we have used up to this point in 
controlling the speculation. And that, I think, is presumed to be the 
method that would be used here as well. 

Senator Downey. As a matter of interest, has any farmer or busi- 
nessman ever given options by which the Secretary of the Interior may 



248 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

at some more or less indefinite future sell hundreds, or maybe hundreds 
of thousands or maybe millions of dollars' worth of property? 

Mr. Warxe. Yes; several hundreds of them have on other reclama- 
tion projects. 

Senator Downey-. You mean on property worth hundreds of thou- 
sands of dollars? I do not mean in the aggregate. I mean 
individually. 

Mr. Warne, Well, I do not know, certainty, that I could say cate- 
gorically that any of them have ever been signed on property quite as 
valuable as these in the Central Valley project area, but they have been 
signed and signed by holders of substantial acreages of considerable 
value in other project areas. 

Senator Downey. Will you produce for us the five highest con- 
siderations that have been paid under such options and the description 
of the property ? Will you present that for the record ? 

Mr. Warxe" I will do my best to. That may be a little difficult. 

Senator Downey. Let me ask you if in any of these cases you 
have had the factor of underground water? 

Mr. Warxe. I do not know of anywhere we have had it to the 
extent that you have it in Madera or in other areas of the Central 
Valley project. 

Senator Dowxey. Yes ; will you state when you give us this record 
whether in any of these options that you give us of a large amount 
there is any factor of underground water involved at all. 

No, let me ask you what possible motive or inducement could there 
be for Mr. Arakelian to give the Secretary of the Interior an option 
by which he would bind his property irrevocably to be sold at a price 
to be fixed by other people than himself ? What would be the motive 
(hat you carry in your mind. Mr. Warne? 

Mr. Warxe. The protection of the continued productivity of his 
own properties and the surrounding properties. 

Senator Dowxey. Is there any way you can prevent Mr. Arakelian 
from continuing to pump his water as he is very successfully doing 
now ? 

Mr. Warxe. No ; as long as he has water he can pump. Now Arake- 
lian may be in a place where he will continually have ground water, 
but many of these are not so situated. 

Senator Dowxey. You do not mean many in the Madera district, do 
\ on ? 

Mr. Warxe. No ; I understand the Madera is not pumped out to the 
extent that many others are. 

Senator Dowxey. xlre you familiar with the figures that Mr. Hyatt 
introduced from a complete water survey which showed 155,110 acres 
in the Madera district with a depth to ground water of less than 
50 feet while the depth in the remaining 75,290 acres was between 50 
and 100 feet. 

Mr. Warxe. Yes, sir ; and I have gone over the records with Mr. 
Barnes in his office in Madera, too. 

Senator Dowxey. Let us talk about Madera, and we can later talk 
about any other thing. 

Now, can you carry out any possible project in the Madera without 
amplifying the Arakelian underground water? 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 249 

Mr. Warxe. We cannot carry out the project we have started there. 

Senator Downey. Well, can you carry out any kind of a project 
without amplifying his underground waters ? 

Mr. Warne. I doubt it, although geologists may give us a better 
answer on that. But I doubt if you could. 

Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Warne, why not be realistic and face 
facts? You cannot. 

Mr. Warne. When I was down there with Mr. Barnes, he showed 
me that there were certain places in the Madera where it was doubtful 
whether the ground water would be greatly benefited in a considerable 
length of time, and I do not know precisely where Mr. Arakelian's 
place is. 

Senator Downey. Well, but Mr. Warne, presently, about 23 percent 
of these lands in that Madera are excess lands and the balance are 
nonexcess. You certainly intend to go ahead with the project at 
least to furnish surface water to nonexcess users ? 

Mr. Warne. Yes, sir. 

Senator Downey. Would not that immediately relieve the strain 
upon the other ground waters ? I mean by the fact that these owners 
cease to do pumping ? 

Mr. Warne. Yes ; it would. If it could be assumed, which I think 
is not a safe assumption, that that water flowed underground as it 
does in a bowl and comes quickly to a common level — then, I think 
the point would be pretty well made. But as a matter of fact, there 
are between the out-fall cones of those streams tighter areas where 
the ground water does not, as I understand it, quickly recover, and 
some expert on that subject ought to answer catgorically your ques- 
tion. I should add that I cannot agree with your assumption that 
those who own the 78 percent nonexcess lands will cease pumping as 
you say. The} 7 will take surface water and pump, too. 

Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Warne, we are not talking about any 
quick replenishment of the underground water. Is it not so that Mr. 
Arakelian is now getting water at about half the price it would cost 
him to buy surface water from you ? 

Mr. Warne. Well, I do not know what those pumping rates are on 
the Madera, but I would be surprised if he is doing that well. 

Senator Downey. Well, the testimony is here that the pumping 
charges per acre-foot on a lift of 100 feet is around $2. There were 
several — two or three — witnesses who testified to that. His pumping 
lift is only 60 feet. He has his plants all installed. He should prop- 
erly charge amortization and interest, too, for he has a capital 
investment there. 

Mr. Warne. That must be under pretty nearly ideal conditions that 
they could get as low a rate as that. Our weighted averages on the 
class 1 water, I believe, is about $2.70 at canal side for surface water. 

Now, that is per acre-foot. That would be a pretty high charge if 
you were buying a full water supply to pay $2.70 per acre-foot at 
the side of the main canal. 

But it is a relatively low price in the Central Valley project area 
where sometimes they pump at a cost that runs to $12 or more per 
acre-foot. 

Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Warne, do you want to leave the sug- 
gestion with the committee that you think there is a likelihood in 



250 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

the Madera that the Bureau of Reclamation can carry out its project 
without a 7 eplenishment of the ground water in a few years over the 
whole dititxTct? I want to say to you that Mr. Barnes will be here to 
testify and he has made a lifetime study of that. I assume you know 
that or ought to know it. Are you willing to leave the suggestion 
with the committee that if the Bureau starts the replenishment of the 
underground and surface water as now contemplated in the Madera 
that Mr. Arakelian still stands a chance of not having at least as good 
a supply as he now has underground ? 

Mr. Warne. I think the chances are that he will have at least as 
good a supply as he has today, and he will be benefited. 

Senator Dowxey. I agree with you, he will be very much benefited. 

Mr. Warne. And that certainly is the objective of this project, to 
alleviate what otherwise is a catastrophic situation in the San Joa- 
quin Valley. 

Senator Dowxey. Exactly, Mr. Warne. 

Mr. Warne. No, sir, I do not think we ought to expect the reclama- 
tion law. even in all its majesty, to do all the things that need to be 
done with regard to ground water in California which has, I have 
heard it described, a ground-water anarchy instead of ground-water 
law. 

Senator Dowxey. It seems to have worked out rather successfully, 
Mr. Warne. 

Mr. Warne. It has pumped a lot of people down to a point where 
they face dire consequences. 

Senator Dowxey. There is plenty of water available for all of them, 
the big farmers and the small farmers. The Madera has been getting 
it for 4 years. I do not want to belabor that. But let us go back to 
this point, Mr. Warne. You are then of the opinion that there is 
very little chance that Mr. Arakelian will not have at least as good a 
supply underground, and likely it will be better — let us start from 
there. 

Mr. Warne. Yes. 

Senator Dowxey. Then what inducement have you that you can 
offer this committee that would cause Mr. Arakelian on properties 
worth into the millions to voluntarily give an option to somebody else 
to fix the price and sell him out at some period of time in the future? 

Mr. Warne. Well, the inducement of the project itself. 

Senator Dowxey. But the project is going to go in whether Mr. 
Arakelian signs a recordable contract or not. You sign up with the 
district and agree to put that water in, and then you are going in and 
try to sign up these recordable contracts. 

Mr. Warne. Well. I grant you that it may be going hindside before 
to leave a project of this character to proceed as this one has with the 
const ruction in advance of working out some of these problems. But 
the project is the inducement, the project and the benefits of the proj- 
ect, and I know of nothing else that we can use to induce Mr. Arakelian 
or any other good citizen to participate under the reclamation law in 
the project. 

Senator Dowxey. Yes. there is. Mr. Warne; and that is, give him 
his Mater, make him a law-abiding citizen. Give him surface and 
underground water and he will be happy to pay for it. Of course, 
you cannot hold forth any inducement to come in under the act if you 
are going to deny him water. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 251 

Mr. Warxe. Well, the Bureau of Reclamation attempts to carry out 
the provisions of the law. We think that the present law has served 
well. Now, if there is to be a change of policy with regard to this 
matter, that change will have to be made by the Congress of the United 
States. . 

Senator Downey. Mr. Warne, I do not think it is necessary to say 
that. We are here for that very purpose to consider that fact. I am 
not criticizing the Bureau for carrying out existing laws. I am 
attempting to find out from you whether the existing law will work. 

Then, Mr. Warne, you can offer nothing further to the committee 
as to how you think any antispeculation provisions could be enforced 
against Mr. Arakelian with the law as it is presently ? 

Mr. Warne. That is the method that has been devised and developed, 
and it has worked elsewhere. 

Senator Downey. Well, now, Mr. Warne, if Mr. Arakelian is going 
to get at least as much underground supply as he has, and upon which 
he has built up his business, probably cheaper water than he would 
get by surface, what, I ask you, do you gain by having any acreage 
limitation in the Madera ? What is gained by it if your excess-prop- 
erty owners, constituting only 23 percent of the excess land, can con- 
tinue to cultivate their excess lands by pumping water? What is 
gained in the Madera now? Please do not generalize it. What is 
gained in the Madera by having any acreage limitation there ? 

Mr. Warne. Well, I think that the excess-property owners, along 
with other farmers of the Madera, may find it to their advantage to 
participate in the surface-water supply ; and I think further that the 
excess-property owners, along with the non-excess-property owners, 
certainly have a community interest in making a workable project out 
of this. I am convinced that they so feel. 

Senator Downey. But, Mr. Warne, except for a limited period of 
time, you will not allow the excess-land owners to use surface water. 
You say that. 

Mr. Warne. He can use surface water if he signs a recordable 
contract. 

Senator Downey. For 10 years. 

Mr. Warne. That is right. 

Senator Downey. Surely ; and do you think that any man is going 
to mortgage his business in that way, so he knows he has to go out 
of business at the end of 10 years or start in a new venture ? Surely 
you would allow him to use surface water for 10 years. 

Mr. Warne. Well, I think that some of them will. Yes; I think it 
is to their advantage to do so. I think those that are faced with stark 
destruction through relentless depression of the ground water will 
certainly find it to their advantage to come into the project, and there 
is not enough water to go around in the San Joaquin Valley, at least 
in the Central Valley project as presently authorized. 

Senator Downey. But, Mr. Warne, you have already agreed there 
will not be that depletion in the Madera. The excess-land owner there 
is not faced with that. He will have a better supply than he now has. 
You are the one that says to him you cannot have surface water. He 
is not rejecting surface water; you are rejecting it for him except for 
160 acres. 



252 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Warne. He can get water for 160 acres. 

Senator Downey. And that is all. 

Mr. Warne. That might be all he needs. 

Senator Downey. Let me ask you this, Mr. Warne: Suppose it 
would work out in the Madera district that the ground water would 
be cheaper and more satisfactory than the surface water, or a combi- 
nation of surface and underground water. Just assume that for a 
moment. Then you would have benefited the excess-land owners 
by what you are attempting to do, would you not? 

Mr. Warne. Yes. 

Senator Downey. Under that assumption. 

Mr. Warne. Yes; I think we could assume that he would be 
benefited, and that he would pay. 

Senator Downey. I am asking you this : If the excess landowner's 
supply of ground water is better and cheaper than surface water 
offered by the Bureau, and he uses it and does not have to pay for the 
surface water while the nonexcess landowner has to pay for the more 
expensive kind of water, you then have done an injury by this to the 
smaller owners, will you not ? 

Mr. Warne. Well, I think it is our theory that the owners can be 
assessed in accord with their benefits, and I do not think you are going 
to find a benefit extended to someone who does not pay his way or 
his share. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Warne, you have not understood me. I am 
not talking about whether excess landowners under optimum condi- 
tions here can be compelled to pay. That is a question, a legal ques- 
tion, I can assure } r ou as a lawyer. Let us assume the underground 
users irregularly use it and by a novel method can be compelled to 
pay that. Let us assume that. I am not suggesting he is going to 
escape paying for it. What I am saying is that it is probable in the 
Madera the ground- water supply will be cheaper and better than the 
surface or the surface and underground. I assume that at least. If 
that results, the excess landowner has an advantage over the nonexcess 
landowner. 

Mr. Warne. I do not see how he gets any advantage. 

Senator Downey. Because he just has to pay, assuming he has to 
pay. for the underground water; he does not have to pay for the 
surface water because you do not give him that. 

Mr. Warne. Well, I think he will be paying for his benefit in 
accordance with his benefit. 

Xow, whether that benefit comes by ground water or by surface 
water he will pay for it. As I understand also from conversations 
with Mr. Barnes and others, the planning of the ditches to distribute 
the water is being undertaken to the best ability of all concerned in 
such a way that the ditches will overlay only those portions of the 
project where the ground water is most difficult to charge, and, there- 
fore, it seems to me clear that one who benefits by increase in his 
ground water perhaps does so because of the location of his place. 
Without the surface-water ditches you might never bring a benefit, or 
you might be very slow in bringing any benefit, to other areas. 

The Madera, I do not believe, is different from other sections. They 
expect a growth as a result of bringing in this new water supply and 
that growth will bring in additional taxable properties for the Madera 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 253 

irrigation district. Then I think the whole community will be ben- 
efited, too. There will be a community benefit as well as an individual 
benefit. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, for the benefit of the record and 
Mr. Warne, I want to make this statement ; we will later attempt to 
show that in the various districts in California having both surface 
.and underground water, the landowners generally find, not always, 
but generally, that the underground water is cheaper and easier to use 
than the surface water ; and I will attempt to make that specific proof 
about the Madera. I do not know whether Mr. Barnes gets my posi- 
tion but I want to repeat to him that it is my position, Mr. Barnes, 
that if you restrict the excess landowner to underground water, while 
you may be able to tax him for it you would not be able to tax him 
for surface water he cannot get. You would then throw upon the non- 
excess landowner the heavier burden of the surface water, the less 
satisfactory water. I do not care to argue it further. I expect to prove 
that statement by facts. 

Now, Mr. Warne, I would like to have you look at that map back 
of you. 

Mr. Warne. I have seen it. 

Senator Downey. It was prepared by Harry Barnes, of the Madera 
district, and as I recall the blue parcels show the holdings in excess of 
320 acres and the yellow parcels show less than 320 acres ; is that right, 
Mr. Langley? 

Mr. Langley. That is right. 

Mr. Warne ( reading) : 

The blue indicates land in the Madera irrigation district held in ownership in 
excess of 160 acres as shown by the assessment rolls of the district as of January 
1947. The yellow indicates balance of land in the district excluding cities. 

The blue area is 87,853 acres and 174 ownerships, and comprises 50.9 percent 
of the total district area. The blue area includes 65,759 acres in ownership in 
excess of 320' acres. In 75 ownerships, 38.1 percent of the district area. 

Senator Downey. Now, Mr. Warne are you familiar with the cor- 
respondence that Mr. Barnes has had with the Bureau of Reclamation 
concerning that map ? 

Mr. Warne. Yes, I am in a general way familiar with it. 

Senator Downey. Now, is it not the statement of Mr. Barnes that 
it will be expensive and perhaps impracticable to have what he calls a 
"checkerboard" system of irrigation of the surface water and that if 
the excess parcels are not served surface water the district will be at a 
serious disadvantage because it would throw an added burden on the 
smaller farmers to carry the overhead of a distribution system which 
served only the nonexcess lands ? Is not that his statement? 

Mr. Warne. That would be my statement, too. I think if you have 
to lay out the checkerboard system it would be more costly than one 
that is meant to serve all of the land. 

Senator Downey. Is not that what you would do if you are not 
going to serve the excess lands? Would you build laterals and canals 
for the excess lands ; would you do that if you were not going to serve 
them water ? 

Mr. Warne. I do not think you would build canals and laterals for 
land that you knew you were not going to ever serve. 



62453—47 17 



254 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Downey. As Mr. Barnes has so well pointed out, the parcels 
are intermixed; you cannot feasibly and economically lay out any 
system. Are you familiar with the correspondence on this ? 
* Mr. Warne. I am familiar in a general way. I cannot recall the 
details of it all. There has been a lot of it. 

Senator Downey. What would you suggest to the director of the 
Madera district to overcome that situation of checkerboard areas of 
excess land that would not be served by the gravity flow ? 

Mr. Warne. I suggest they sign them up on recordable contracts. 

Senator Ecton. Let me ask a question, Mr. Warne. I take it that 
you are now speaking of this Madera project? 

Senator Downey. That is right, at this time.^ 

Senator Ection. All right; the Madera projects will be completed 
regardless of the sign-ups of excess lands. 

Sir. Warne. The Madera district has at present a main canal run- 
ning north from Friant Dam. That main canal presently is able to 
supply a certain amount of water which is spread for the purpose of 
putting it underground in this area. 

Now, the distribution system necessary to serve the lands, this area 
[indicating] that we see here includes from the town of Chowchilla to 
a town over here and down to the San Joaquin County line ; that is this 
area, roughly, right here [indicating], the distribution system to serve 
that area is only now being laid out. It has not been constructed and 
it is presumed that the recordable contracts will be obtained before 
it is constructed. 

Senator Ecton. What I mean is: Is it contingent upon the 
signing up of all the landowners in this district? Are you going 
ahead and complete it whether these excess landowners sign up or not? 
That is what I want to know, and I think it is very pertinent to deter- 
mine that in consideration of this question. 

Then when we have that direct answer, then we will know the answer 
to Senator Downey's question. 

Mr, Warne. It is my judgment that these ditches will not be dug, 
not the canals but the laterals and ditches will not be built until this 
matter is settled either by the landowners preparing themselves to 
comply or in some other way. 

Senator Ecton. So the project will not be built as long as these 
excess landowners withhold their signature to their contract. 

Mr. Warne. If you can differentiate between the distribution sys- 
tem, and that is the matter Senator Downey has been talking about 
in his recent cross-examination, and the project itself, the backbone 
transmission system, the main canals, I think the answer is "yes." But 
we are going ahead and building the main canals. We have built the 
Madera canal. We are presently constructing the Friant-Kern and 
the Delta-Mendota canal. We have built the Shasta Dam and the 
Friant Dam and we are constructing other features, including the 
Contra-Costa canal, which will serve an area over in Contra-Costa 
County. 

Senator Ecton. Then you were contemplating furnishing water to 
all the landowners who are now within the acreage limitation. You 
actually are, due to the fact that you have already constructed these 
canals and are constructing them, intend to furnish water to any- 
body and everybody in there that can comply and will sign it. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 255 

Mr. Warne. Those that will sign the contract, yes, sir. We are 
negotiating contracts with irrigation districts at the present time. 

Senator Ecton. So the way the matter stands now, the man who does 
not sign up, does not get any water even though the canal comes 
right by his farm. 

Mr. Fix. He gets enough water for 320 acres. 

Mr. Warxe. He. can get what the law allows him to hold. Yes ; you 
are correct. The canal might run through his farm and if he did not 
participate in the project he would get no water from the canal. 

Senator Downey. But he would get the underground water. 

Mr. Warne. Yes ; if the ground water situation were such that the 
whole underground was being replenished he would get a benefit from 
the ground water. 

Senator Ecton. Thank you, Mr. Warne. 

Now, the next question is : Would the cost per acre increase in pro- 
portion to the land which is withheld? 

Mr. Warne. No, not necessarily, although I should think 

Senator Ecton (interposing). It would increase some? 

Mr. Warne. Yes ; the excess land might all be in one place and you 
might not have to modify your canal system much. It would tend — ■ 
let me say it would tend to increase the cost of the distribution system. 

Senator Ecton. Therefore, is not Senator Downey right in con- 
tending that just insofar as these large landholders do not sign up — 
and you have admitted that there is no way to make them sign up — in- 
sofar as that land is withheld, is he not right in his contention thai 
thereby the cost per acre increases to small landowners? 

Mr. Warne. Well, there is a tendency in that direction with those 
assumptions. 

Mr. Fix. If I might supplement that, it is our position that the 
availability of the water supply, plus the fact that the ground water 
has been replenished increases the value of his land so that he will be 
in substantially the same position, on an assessment basis, as those 
who get a surface supply. 

Senator Ecton. That is for the courts to determine. 

Mr. Fix. That is true. 

Senator Ecton. I do not know anything about what the courts 
would determine. But it is my opinion, in view of the testimony that 
has been given here, that a man can drill a well on his own land and 
pump it to his heart's content and you nor anybody else can do any- 
thing about it. That has been the admission here. And I think that 
is the way it should be. 

Mr. Fix. His ground water has been recharged, and he does have 
a surface supply if he wants to take advantage of it. And it increases 
the value of his property. 

Senator Ecton. I conceded that, and I am willing to admit it ; but 
at the same time, it is all underground. Who in the world is going 
to be able to determine how much water has been replenished or 
where it came from. You know it is there and you know what caused 
it, but it is hard to determine. 

Mr. Warne. If it were impossible — if it should be eventually 
proved to be impossible to assess the ground water, the man who is 
benefited only by ground water costs for this project, then a great 
deal more than 160-acre law is in jeopardy. 



256 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Ecton. That is right. 

Mr. Warne. This project probably should never have been built at 
all under those circumstances. 

Senator Ecton. That is right. 

Mr. Waknb. I do not think the law of California is quite that 
pliable. They have a law out there, as I understand it, that says 
that you can assess for the benefits received and these big excess land- 
owners might stay out for more reasons than the 160-acre law if they 
could not be assessed. I think they can be assessed. 

Senator Ectox. But up to the present time you have not proved to 
me that you can assess them or that there is any possibility of being 
able to assess them in the future. 

Mr. Wabnb. I am confident that the}- think they could be assessed 
or they would not be so anxious to have this law repealed. 

Senator Ectox. You think that is what is worrying them? 

Mr. Wabne. You bet. 

Senator Downey. I desire to express my entire opposition to that. 
I am the sponsor of this bill, along with Senator Knowland, and as 
far as California is concerned, the advice of every water lawyer there 
is that you cannot assess the excess landowners for surface flow and 
not give them the water. And, Mr. Chairman, I must say that I am 
astonded at the ethical principle which the Bureau advances. It is 
now finally driven to the position that it is not only going to deny 
water to an excess landowner, which is within their power to do 
because that is the law, but nevertheless they are going to tax him, 
although he has not received it. So extraordinary and unethical is 
this governmental proposal, that I do not believe any reputable rep- 
resentative would make such a statement that it could be done. 

Senator Ectox. You mean. Senator, they intend to assess him for 
water they do not deliver after he pumped it himself ? 

Senator Dowxey. They are going to assess him for surface water 
that they did not deliver, and that is the position that Mr. Fix is 
driven to in his final brief. At this point in the record I would like 
to put in section 22250 of the Water Code of California. The heading 
is "Ratable apportionate of water among landowners." 

All water distributed by districts for irrigation purposes shall except when 
otherwise provided in this article be apportioned ratably to each landowner upon 
the basis of the ratio which the last assessment against his land for district pur- 
poses bears to the whole sum assessed in the district for district purposes. 

Now there is the declaration of the people of the State of California, 
honest and forthright, that a man will be entitled to receive his water 
just in proportion that he pays for it. 

Mr. Fix. Of course, Senator. I had supposed that we as opponents 
of the bill would have the privilege to make a statement in opposition 
to the statement that the attorneys for the irrigation districts are 
going to make. 

Senator Dowxey. Certainly, Mr. Fix. 

Mr. Fix. We want to make that at the proper time. 

Senator Dowxey. I might say for the benefit of the chairman that 
Mr. Fix (who is an able lawyer, works out some sort of implied repeal 
of this solemn declaration by the people of the State that the water 
shall be distributed in proportion to the assessment, a common sense, 
natural, honest thing, the law of the State of California. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 257 

He in some way impliedly repeals that and Mr. Fix can better than 
I can express to you why he thinks that is true. 

Now, Mr. Warne, have we not even a more serious situation that we 
so far have developed ? Let us assume that in some places in the dis- 
trict surface water would be more valuable and satisfactory to land- 
owners, and in other places the underground would be cheaper and 
more satisfactory. Due to peculiar conditions that now exist all over 
that Central Valley. 

Under the blithe invitation that Mr. Straus expressed yesterday for 
excess proprietors to entirely free themselves of the burden of this law 
by what he called, with a great deal of happiness apparently, technical 
compliance, would it not be possible for any of these landowners with 
reasonably small parcels, say up to 2,500 acres, by contracts and deeds 
to relatives and employees, and the formation of corporations, place 
themselves in a position so they could get just exactly the amount of 
surface water they wanted for whatever parcels they wanted and get 
underground water for whatever other parcels they wanted. 

Now, let us assume 

Mr. Warne (interposing). If they indeed complied with the law, 
yes. 

Senator Downey. Well, let us assume that in Mr. Arakelian's case, 
whatever it may be, that he would find that his financial condition and 
efficiency would be best served by, we will say, 1,000 acres of surface 
irrigation and 1,500 acres of underground, that that would be the 
cheapest and best arrangement he could have. He and his wife could 
have 320 acres and then by apt conveyances which are taking plac/3 
all over the West, by technical laws, he evades the laws that your own 
attorney says are illegal. He could receive surface water for whatever 
amount he wanted, could he not ? 

Mr. Warne. He did not say, by apt conveyances, he said if he com- 
plied with the law, then, I repeat, that 

Senator Downey (interposing). One of the ways of complying 
would be to form a corporation in which he would own 95 percent of 
the stock and his wife and children the balance or deed out with op- 
tions back, and 15-year leases — there is a multitude of ways that a 
second- or third-rate lawyer could use to make this technical com- 
pliance. As I understand it, according to the Commissioner of the 
Bureau of Eeclamation, that is an inflexible thing, so you could make 
technical compliance and the Bureau of Eeclamation is no longer in- 
terested. But, Mr. Warne 

Mr. Warne (interposing). Let us eliminate the word "technical." 
Let us say, "make compliance." 

Senator Downey. I am taking Mr. Straus' own phrase, "technical 
compliance." He iterated and reiterated it, and in his discussion with 
the chairman, reasserted it, Mr. Warne. 

Well, Mr. Warne, then would not the sole result of this thing be 
that with people, at least in the Madera, up to 2,500 acres, the excess 
proprietor would be in this advantageous position over the nonexcess : 
He would be the one and not the district to determine the amount of 
surface water and the amount of underground water that he should 
enjoy? 

Mr. Warne. Well, I doubt whether the district is quite that impotent 
in the management of its affairs. It seems to me by the same reason- 



258 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

ing you could say that any complier or anyone who held only 320 
acres could be the determining one as to whether he got water on his 
land or did not get water on his land, or whether he permitted the 
district to build the ditches or whether he did not permit them to build 
the ditches. 

Senator Downey. With apologies to you, and I happen to be a 
lawyer, anybody who is subject to the rules of the irrigation district 
must take the surface and underground water under arrangements 
which the directors decide is for the best benefit of everybody 

Mr. Warne. That is what I thought. 

Senator Downey. That is true. But you are not going to give the 
excess proprietor surface water. That puts him in a position where 
he does not have to take it unless he wants to make technical com- 
pliance, and that puts him in a position where he will determine if 
and when he wants surface water and to what extent. 

Now, I have asked many of your representatives, over the course 
of 2 or 3 years, for any answer to that. Mr. Barnes states that same 
problem in his letter to the Bureau. He has had 30 years' experience 
with this very district. He did not know any answer to it. If Mr. 
Fix thinks he does, we will be very happy, of course 5 to hear from 
him. 

Mr. Warne. We will have others who will testify on some of these 
most technical matters, Mr. Downey. 

I would hope that the law would not work out to the end that you 
say which would give an excess landowner the whip hand over the 
district and the Government. It would be my expectation that it 
would not. 

Senator Downey. I have heard that kind of statement repeatedly. 
But how now can you avoid this ? You yourself create an intolerable 
situation by saying that the man cannot have surface water and it 
follows, at least so far as I am concerned, that you cannot make him 
pay for it. Now, you can make technical compliance with the law, 
and he can get it to the extent that he wants. 

Mr. Warne. It seems to me there is a fundamental fallacy here in 
the assumption that the district would want to build a distribution 
system if it were better to pump, and that it must be assumed that 
there is advantage connected with getting a surface water supply ; and 
it is that advantage that the excess landowner would not get. I know 
that there is some convenience, a value to the convenience of being able 
to walk into your field, flip a button on the control of your pump and 
irrigate 3 hours in the morning and go to town in the afternoon. If 
you are operating a ditch system it is not quite that easy ; but I am 
inclined to think that the price is the persuader and that it is in favor 
of the surface water supply. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, in reply to that, I merely want 
to say this : That I think we will show that if the board of directors 
have complete control over all of the land and over the surface flow as 
well as the underground, they can then work out the best kind of irri- 
gation, as to time, place, and amount ; that is the strategic way to do it. 
This great investment by the Federal Government, so far as the Madera 
is concerned, is completed and now drawing interest, and they have 
actually delivered water. Mr. Barnes has written them lengthy letters 
saying we cannot start the building of this canal system until we know 
what lands we are going to serve. J 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 259 

Xow, let me develop another point with Mr. Warne. 

Suppose, temporarily, you get over a hurdle here and you work 
out laterals for canals to irrigate 320 acres for a married man and 
his wife, and the whole plan is made on that, and one of the spouses 
dies and can only irrigate 160 acres : What condition would the district 
be left in as to the fact that it had provided for 320 acres with the 
property owner, or for technical compliance. I realize you can evade 
the law, but let us assume the law is honestly observed. What con- 
dition would you be in ? 

Mr. Warxe. There are opportunities in the law and regulations for 
adjustments to meet that kind of contingency. Time is allowed. The 
moment the spouse dies the water would not be turned off. We 
plan a 10-year adjustment period for signers of recordable contracts 
in the Central Valley. 

Senator Downey. I know, Mr. Warne, that this plan can never be 
worked out the way you people are now scheduling it. Of course, 
allowances will be made, but I am just pointing out the difficulties of 
endeavoring to work it out. 

All right, just to sum this up, Mr. Warite : Have you been able to 
point to any advantage that you have gained over Mr. Arakelian in 
this discussion about him that justifies the harassment and the worry 
in the district: the checkerboarding of the irrigation system and the 
placing of the smaller landowners at a disadvantage as far as the 
excess proprietor is concerned? Have you any advantage that you 
gain by attempting to do this? 

Mr. Warxe. Well, you have the advantage that was cited originally 
by Mondell and others, the desire to spread the benefit as widely as 
possible among family-sized farm operators. 

Now that advantage is to me, a very real one and it is an advantage 
that is the motivating influence down here in this area. 

Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Warne, I do not want to enter into 
any argument as to whether as a matter of public policy, whether 
you should compel the Di Giorgio acreages to be broken into 1G0 
acres of land as Mr. Mondell talks about. But how are you going to 
do it? It is of no use envisioning some attractive impossibility if you 
cannot accomplish it. It would be nice to be on top of Washington 
Monument and fly off. But it is an impossible thing for a human 
being. 

What is the use of saying that you back this idea of family-sized 
farms^ that we will applaud, if this attempt to do it will do nothing 
but injure the smaller landowners ? What do you gain ? 

Mr. Warxe. Well, if it would do nothing but injury, I would say 
there would be no advantage to it. 

But you mentioned again Mr. Di Giorgio's place. If we are going 
to protect his 8,000 stockholders by bringing them water, it may well 
be that their best interests would" be to find an appropriate market 
for some of their landholdings down there and to bring the ranch 
into compliance. Any outfit that is threatened with exhaustion of 
water supply is in a pretty bad state. 

Senator Dowxet. Yes, Mr. Warne, but we went into that this 
morning ; they are pumping water ; they have the best or deepest wells 
there. They will successfully pump water when nonexcess owners 
will be put out of business. I questioned Mr. Bashore on that. I 



260 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

said, is there any solution except to prevent delivery of water to the 
entire reclamation district, and he said, no, because of the under- 
ground waters, but I think that is too harsh and cruel to contemplate. 

So you are sure you might injure Di Giorgio and the other excess 
landowners, but you would break the nonexcess landowners, too. 

Well, Mr. Warne, let us depart from that point now. We have 
been considering here now, Mr. Chairman, only one district ; true, the 
largest, but only one district in the San Joaquin. 

Now, I practiced law in the city of Sacramento and unfortunately 
got into farming. I was a lawyer there for 30 years with largely a 
farm clientele in that agricultural community. 

Now, as was testified here yesterday, there is an old and very 
valuable development in the Sacramento Valley for flood Control ; great 
dikes have been built there ; also irrigation facilities ; large areas have 
been drained. I want to ask you if in that great area of irrigated 
lands with existing water rights on the Sacramento, you know any 
practical way, considering conditions there, that you can enforce any 
160-acre limitation ? I want you to tell me that for a particular rea- 
son. I am holding something back on you. Better be careful how 
you answer, I am warning you. 

Mr. Warne. Well, if it is assumed that the only way we have of 
enforcing the 160-acre law is impractical, then perhaps not. The other 
way of enforcing it is to get the contracts for compliance with the ex- 
cess landowners at the time you give them additional water supply, 
or at the time you give their district an additional water supply. 

Now, I do not know what your next question may be, but if it tends 
to say they are going to get the additional water supply anyway, 
then it seems to me a graver question than the one of the 160-acre law 
is posed, and that is the solvency of the project. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Warne, I will ask you if, when you were tes- 
tifying on the rivers and horbors bill in 1944, you volunteered the 
statement which I want to compliment you on — it is direct and forth- 
right and I think every engineer should agree with it. 

Mr. Warne. Like an author, a witness should never have testified 
before. 

Senator Downey. I think this is very fine testimony. 

No, it might be well just to point out what these green spots represent here. 
The upper one represents roughly the irrigated lands in the Sacramento Valley. 
These lands are served generally by water taken from the Sacramento River on 
old rights that are neither disturbed nor for the most part improved by the 
Central Valley project. They are irrigated lands, but they are not lands with 
Which we shall write contracts under the reclamation laws, because their water 
supply is already available to them, and therefore the excess-land provisions 
would not apply there. 

You have made that statement ? 

Mr. Warne. I made that statement, I think that is consistent with 
what I say now. If they get no more water or if they get no improved 
right, then I think they are not involved in our excess-land program or 
any other program. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Warne, let me point out to you how very 
complicated the matter is. Probably the oldest water right in point 
of time in the Sacramento River is 100 years old. Now, maybe, ac- 
cording to the historical records, and I just assume, that that man 
would or might only lack water 1 week in a whole century, accord- 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 261 

ing to the statistical record. He might get some project water. Oh, 
well, that does not amount to much. We have a man with, say, a 50- 
year water right. It may be that every 5 years for a period of a month 
he may draw upon the project water. Now, the problem might be in- 
finitely complicated by the fact that project water might have been 
stored up in Shasta 10 years before. You come down to the fact that 
while many men might be materially benefited by getting water in 
alternate years or for 6 weeks or at the end of the irrigation season, 
there are many others who will need little water and that infrequently. 

I know you expect to bring in additional lands. I am not talking 
about that at this time. 

The lawyers of Sacramento and the engineers just think it is a 
totally impossible thing for any bureau to work out this 160-acre 
limitation under those conditions. As for those people, Mr. Warne, 
do you expect them to give the Secretary of the Interior a recordable 
option on their property, saying, "Now, Mr. Krug, you and your 
appraisers fix the price that I shall get for this in 10 years or 5 

Mr. Fix. It is not the Secretary that fixes the price; it is three 
appraisers. 

Senator Downey. If they cannot agree, then 

Mr. Fix. If the two appraisers do not agree on the third appraiser, 
the Secretary appoints the third. One is appointed by the district, 
one by the Secretary. 

Senator Downey. I am not reflecting on the Secretary in relation 
to any other appraiser. I just could not conceive, myself, of anyone 
giving out any option of that kind. Well, all right, of" these 3,500,000 
acres presently irrigated in the Central Valley about 750,000 acres 
are in the Sacramento Valley, are there not, Mr. Warne? 

Mr. Warne. Yes ; that is about right. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Warne, we get down to a much more com- 
plicated situation, I think, in the delta region. Now, do you want to 
explain that to the chairman, what happens there ? 

Mr. Warne. I would be happy to explain to the chairman. 

Senator Downey. I think it is a very fine feature of the project and 
you will be very proud of it, Mr. Warne. 

Mr. Warne. Yes, sir ; it is. 

Senator Downey. And if you can tell us how you can apply the 
160-acre limitation there, that will be very interesting, too. 

Mr. Warne. If I could, I would tell you how we are going to collect 
for the water which they are going to get, which I cannot do. I think 
they ought to be made to pay for service they can get. 

As Mr. Hyatt explained yesterday, the Central Valley of California 
is surrounded by mountains except for an area immediately east of 
the San Francisco Bay where the two rivers, the Sacramento coming 
from the north, and the San Joaquin, coming from the south, join in 
a common delta and flow to the bay through Carquinez Straits and 
through the Golden Gate on out into the ocean. 

Now, this map shows a complex of channels and it is an accurate 
depiction of the situation in the delta itself. The delta is formed at 
the junction of the two rivers, where they join to Aoav into the bay. 
The delta is cut by numerous sloughs which are channels, water courses, 
and the water that comes from the Sacramento River and the water 



262 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAXD LIMITATIONS 

that comes occasionally from the San Joaquin flow through these 
sloughs, a complex of channels, into the sea. 

Xow. islands are formed in this delta by the criss-crossing and the 
mesh of the sloughs. These islands are low-lying land, some of them 
naturally at the water surface, and most of them have dikes around 
them which protect them from encroachment of the water on the 
surface of the land itself. They are subirrigated in the main by the 
waters that stand or that flow through the sloughs and the river 
channel itself into the bay. 

Now, these rivers are erratic, as are all the western rivers. The 
Sacramento is the greatest contributor of water and also a more stable 
river: but nevertheless its flow varies between wide limits. 

In times of low flow, the salt water from the bay tends to creep up 
into the delta area. Naturally, the saline waters are damaging to the 
land and sometimes have forced abandonment of crops or even of 
whole islands for periods of time. 

In the low year, the water came within a few hundred yards, the salt 
water came within a few hundred yards of the intake, as I now recall 
it. of the municipal water supply of the city of Sacramento. In other 
words, it came clear through the delta. 

Through the regulation of the stream at Shasta Dam. a reservoir of 
four and a half million acre-feet, we regulate the low flow ; fill in the 
low flow of the Sacramento Eiver and have a continuous flushing 
process in the delta sloughs to keep those sloughs fresh : and to freshen 
the water, for the intakes of these municipal supplies as well. 

Xow. there is an irrigation function performed by this project in the 
delta. The same water that flushes the sloughs is used in the feeding 
of the crops that grow on the islands, sometimes by pumping over the 
dike and running it around in ditches : by subirrigation, so there is a 
double benefit in this area : one of control of the salinity problem and 
the other the provision of an irrigation supply to those islands in the 
time of extreme low flow, a supply that would not otherwise be there. 

Senator Dowxey. Xow. let me ask you this : As a matter of fact r 
those island proprietors are to a greater or lesser extent pumping out 
of the river? 

Mr. Warxe. Yes. 

Senator Dowxey. When water is saline it tends to ruin the crop. 
Therefore, they will have fresh water there and they will have a higher 
level to pump from and thev will have more and better water, is that 
right? 

Mr. Warxe. That is right. 

Seantor Dowxey. This project is largely a lif esaver for those islands, 
is it not ( 

Mr. Warns. There were years when the whole delta seemed about to 
go under on account of the salt-water intrusion. 

Seantor Dowxey. Now, Mr. Warne. the holdings in there are quite 
Large, are they not — 1,000, 1.500. 2.500 acres, are they not ! 

Mr. Warxe. Yes. 

Seantor Downey. Many of them are mechanized farms ? 

Mr. Warxe. It is truck farming — as mechanized as that kind of 
crops can be. There is lots of handwork on the delta. 

Senator Dowxey. Practically no one except a few unfortunate 
foreigners — Japanese. Chinese — live there? Xo homes there? 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 263 

Mr. Warxe. The homes are along the road, and the islands are not 
a place of fine farm homes, you are quite right, but there are some 
beautiful homes along the roads. 

Seantor Downey. Yes, very beautiful, but we are talking about the 
delta lands. 

Mr. Warxe. Two or three hundred thousand acres. 

Seantor Downey. Is there any way to enforce the 160-acre limita- 
tion over that great area ? 

Mr. Warxe. No, sir; no way either to enforce payment for the 
benefits that they receive. 

Seantor Downey. I disagree with that. With this sociological idea 
of 160-acres it would not be too hard to form a superdistrict and take 
those lands in, but you cannot, certainly, as long as you are going to 
deny the people the benefit of the project by law. 

Let me pass to another point. 

Mr. Warxe. I am very much interested in your idea of a super- 
district. 

Senator Dowxey. I will be very happy to talk to you, Mr. Warne, 
about it but I want to pass along to another phase of this. 

About 800,000 acre-feet of water that comes out of Shasta Dam is 
under an exchange agreement that was made by the Miller and Lux 
owners entirely freed of the 160-acre limitation, is it not? 

Mr. Warxe. Yes, sir. 

Seantor Downey. Will 3 r ou explain to the chairman what that 
arrangement was as briefly and as simply as you can? 

Mr. Warxe. Yes. Again I will go to the plrysical description of 
the project for a basis for disclosure of the Miller and Lux situation 
which was along this river here. 

Now, the easiest way to bring the waters of the Sacramento River 
south into the extreme southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, which 
is the high end of the San Joaquin Valley, was to exchange Sacramento 
River water for the San Joaquin River water that was used along 
the lower San Joaquin River. Do you see? It is like leap-frogging; 
you do not carry the water all the way from Shasta Dam to Bakers- 
field; you carry it far enough so that you can replace San Joaquin 
River water that then can be transported farther south toward Bakers- 
field. 

Now, as to these lands along the San Joaquin River between Men- 
dota and the delta, some of them were grasslands and we bought the 
riparian water from the grasslands. Some of them had been sold by 
Miller and Lux to farm operators with a water right in the San Joa- 
quin River and it is in satisfaction of that water right that Sacra- 
mento River water will be pumped into Delta-Mendota Canal and 
caused to flow from the point of pumping to the Mendota pool. In 
transit and after being discharged into the San Joaquin River at the 
Mendota pool, this water will satisfy the rights of those individuals 
who formerly were served with San Joaquin River water. The San 
Joaquin River water then will be available for use in the Madera 
through the Madera Canal and in the southern San Joaquin Valley 
through the Friant-Kern Canal. 

It is an exchange of water proposition and Senator Downey, is cor- 
rect that in satisfaction of those rights we do not require compliance 
with the 160-acre law below Mendota pool. 



264 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Fix. That situation there is similar to that on the Sacramento 
where they have existing rights which we do not propose to disturb. 
If they have a full water right, we do not apply the 160-acre limita- 
tion. They had a riparian right and the exchange contracts merely 
substitute a water right for what they had before. 

Senator Downey. Am I not correct in assuming that actually to 
satisfy this obligation of 800,000 acre-feet, that much water is really 
allocated against the Shasta Lake, is it not? 

Mr. Warne. That much water will have to be supplied from 
Shasta Dam, yes, sir ; and it is the water that we thus get by exchange 
that we store in Friant Dam and use to supply the southern San 
Joaquin Valley. 

Senator Downey. What I am attempting to show is that on the 
Sacramento, due to peculiar conditions that were testified to here, 
it is impossible to place any limitation there. It cannot be applied 
in the delta area to the very rich, fertile vegetable truck gardens 
there. It cannot be applied — for the reason Mr. Fix stated — to the 
lands in the lower San Joaquin covered by the 800,000 acre-feet of 
water under the exchange agreement with Miller & Lux. That brings 
us down to this great upper San Joaquin area that you have heard so 
much about; probably too much from us, Mr. Chairman. There is 
the difficulty of underground water. 

Now, Mr. Warne, what is the position of the Bureau of Reclama- 
tion as to whether there is any way possible — if the Tulare Lake area 
should go in the district and be served by the Bureau of Reclamation, 
do you consider that there is any way there you can apply the 160-acre 
limitation ? 

Mr. Warne. Let me point to the Tulare Lake. Basin here on this 
map, Mr. Chairman. We were talking about that yesterday. The 
committee had testimony about the land here. This land is sometimes 
overflowed by the Kaweah Coahuila or the Kings or the Tule Rivers. 
The lake bed is largely farmed at the present time. Until the water 
can be blocked out of the Tulare, it could not, I believe, be divided into 
single-family type farms for the owner's residence as we propose. 

Senator Downey. As a matter of fact, is it not the admitted finding 
of all the hydraulic engineers that you just cannot afford to put in 
enough flood-control protection to protect the Tulare Lake Basin 
against certain isolated and devastating floods? 

Mr. Warne. No; I do not so understand. It may be a long way 
off. 

Senator Downey. Yes ; thank you. 

Mr. Warne. Water is pretty valuable down there. 

Senator Downey. It is not the question of w T ater so much, Mr. 
Warne, as it is the vindication of this principle of 160-acre limitation. 
You might have a big flood every 20 years there, or every 10 years, 
that would not take many lives, as it is now operated — probably 
none — but if you have homes there that are going to be buried under 
10 or 15 feet of water every 10 or 20 years, it would do you a good deal 
of grievous injury. 

Mr. Warne. I would not want to move a lot of people there and 
bury them under that much water, but we have worked out a similar 
problem on the Tule Lake up at the extreme northern end of the 
State, a part of the Klamath project, where we have constantly 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 265 

reduced the area subject to flood in the Tule Lake sump, and I antici- 
pate something like that will come up in the Tulare Lake, too. 

Senator Dowxey. I am very much obliged for your advice and 
counsel here. 

I have only one further question, and perhaps it is the most difficult 
that I have asked you. Suppose we should pass this bill and have 
in it the expression, "the presently authorized Central Valley project," 
if that should be the proper language. What lands do you think 
would be included in the presently authorized Central Valley project? 

Mr. Warxe. Well, we will have people from California to testify 
with regard to that. I would rather have that question answered by 
them. It will be those lands, however, which contract for the full 
amount of the water from the Friant-Kern canal. 

Senator Ectox. Is that all, Senator ! 

Senator Downey. Yes. Thank you. 

Senator Ectox. Thank you kindly, Mr. Warne. 

Mr. Warxe. Thank you for your patience. 

Senator Ectox. We will call Mr. Sehlmeyer. 

STATEMENT OF GEORGE SEHLMEYER, MASTER, CALIFORNIA 
STATE GRANGE, SACRAMENTO, CALIF. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. My name is George Sehlmeyer, master, California 
State Grange, Sacramento, Calif. 

We appear here in opposition to this Senate bill 912. 

Accompanying me are a number of farmers who live in the San 
Joaquin Valley. They are not lawyers and they are not engineers. 
They are practical farmers who have lived there for many years. We 
also have with us one State senator, Hon. Oliver Carter. In his dis- 
trict is the largest project in the Central Valley. 

There are a number of other witnesses of national organizations who 
wiiriater be presented by Mr. George Miller, Contra Costa, Calif. 

Mr. Chairman, before we proceed further, we have here petitions 
signed by approximately 10,000 farmers, home-owning farmers, in the 
San Joaquin Valley, who are protesting the adoption of this act by 
Congress. These might be called, Mr. Chairman and members of the 
committee, the silent witnesses who deeply feel that before any action 
is taken on this measure, at least, which concerns their very livelihood, 
that the committee, both the Senate and the House, should visit the 
project in California in order to give these people who are farmers 
and who cannot come 3,000 miles to make their presentation here an 
opportunity for expression. 

Senator Ectox. Mr. Sehlmeyer, will you explain briefly why these 
10,000 farmers think this bill strikes at the very heart of their liveli- 
hood? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Because in some instances they feel, Mr. Chair- 
man, because of filing of water by larger landholdings in some of these 
dams, it will impair their ability to get water. 

Senator Ectox. They feel that they will be discriminated against in 
the supply of water ; is that it ? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Not enough supply after the others have been satis- 
fied. 



266 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Ecton. Then I take it that they feel that under the circum- 
stances they would have a much better project and could make a much 
better living on their land if they went ahead with the project and 
leave the excess landholders out entirely; is that it?- 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. We do not think the excess landholders would be 
left out entirely. But there are some areas in the San Joaquin Valley 
where if the large landed corporations get all the water they want and 
can use, there are some home-owning farmers who may be left without 
an adequate supply. 

Senator Ecton. In other words, there is not sufficient available sup- 
ply to take care of the entire San Joaquin Valley ; is that right ? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. That is their fear. 

Senator Ecton. Thank you, Mr. Sehlmeyer. 

Senator Downey. May I ask Mr. Sehlmeyer a question? 

Do you believe that yourself ? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Yes, sir ; I think that is true, and I want to say be- 
fore I reply to your question, Senator, that we want to discuss the 
Central Valley's propects, including the Kern River Basin, the Tulare 
Lake Basin and the King River. 

Now, Mr. Chairman, what disposition would you like to have us 
make of these petitions ? I am not going to read them all. 

Senator Ecton. We will be glad to receive them and attach them as 
an exhibit to the record. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Do you wish to have the heading of the petition 
read into the record, or just accept them? 

Senator Ecton. We can accept them and attach them as part of the 
record. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, before Mr. Sehlmeyer goes ahead, 
and I will try not to interrupt Mr. Sehlmeyer, I want to be sure I un- 
derstand you. The objection that these 10,000 farmers make to the re- 
moval of the limitation is because of their belief that there will be 
insufficient water for both the excess and nonexcess farmers, and* they 
believe that if they can have the limitation left in the law, the small 
farmers will be more apt to get the water they need ? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. We have very definitely stated, Senator, they want 
the limitation left in the law. 

Senator Downey. But I am asking you about the reason. That is 
the reason, is it ? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. That is one of the reasons. 

Senator Ecton. Let me ask a question in that connection, Senator. 
Suppose the Department of the Interior goes ahead and supplies the 
water and these big landowners conformed and got rid of their excess 
acreage and let the veterans settle on it, or anyone else, who comes in, 
would not the present home owner suffer under that program just as 
much as they would under this program that might be set up under 
the enactment of this law? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. I think, Senator, that is an anticipation that they 
do not expect. We do not expect that there will be a division of some 
of those landholds. They are not danger spots all over the area. If I 
am correctly informed, the two that we are most concerned about are 
the Kern, Isabella Dam, and Success Dam on the Tule River. 

Now, so far as this question, this whole question is concerned, I 
would like to call some witnesses here, these farmers, and they can tell 
their own story about this thing. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 267 

Senator Ectox. You have the privilege of calling these witnesses. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Before I call them, we would like to state that we 
expect to show in the record that the testimony offered yesterday, that 
$400 an acre was the approximate figure to bring in land in cultiva- 
tion in the San Joaquin River, is grossly exaggerated ; because we can 
bring proof of land that has been improved and made ready for irriga- 
tion less than 1 month ago for a sum not much more than one quarter 
of that amount ; and if the committee desires it, we can bring, or we can 
send, blueprints of the surveys, the contract of the leveling company, 
and the contract of the well driller for lands improved that short a 
time ago when prices were at their very highest peak. 

May we proceed with our other witnesses \ 

Senator Ectox. Yes. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. I would like to call Mr. O. M. Davis, executive 
secretary, Central Valley Project Conference, Kerman, Calii. Mr. 
Davis is a farmer of Kerman in Fresno County and a resident of the 
Fresno irrigation district. I will let him tell the committee how long 
he has lived on that land and what his activities have been in the 
area. 

Senator Ectox. We will be glad to hear his testimoiry. 

STATEMENT OF 0. M. DAVIS, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, CENTRAL 
VALLEY PROJECT CONFERENCE, KERMAN, CALIF. 

Mr. Davis. Mr. Chairman, I have lived in the San Joaquin Valley 
for 38 years. I have been a farmer all that time, and I am quite 
familiar with a large number of the things that you have been dis- 
cussing here, having been there with others when the country was very 
new. In fact, I was a resident in that Madera irrigation district when 
the district was formed. I just want to show you one of these peti- 
tions here. Now, this petition was gotten by one man. And out of — I 
do not know the number on that exactly — but he told me before he 
finished with it that he had 296 signatures, and 4 people refused to 
sign. I just wanted you to know that. 

In the areas of the valley, where people were able to get hold of these 
petitions, they signed practically 100 percent. The only reason there 
is not half a million here is because of the expense of getting them 
out and getting them to the people. And every bit of the work that 
was done on these petitions was voluntary work. 

Senator Ectox. Let me ask you, Mr. Davis, what percent of the 
names on this one petition, for instance, are actual farmers like 
yourself? 

Mr. Davis. I would not say exactly on this petition, but I imagine 
that 100 percent or 90 percent of them are. 

Senator Ectox. I just wondered if those names belong to anybody 
and everybody who might be on the street corners like a lot of petitions 
are. 

Mr. Davis. The petitions were circulated in farm areas where there 
are, most of them, only farming people. 

Senator Ectox. I think names on petitions in bringing pressure or 
influence on a bill of this character where it affects a specific project 
in a definite valley, should be limited to actual farmers like yourself 
insofar as possible, because you men who live on the land and have 



268 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

made that vour home know more about it than a lot of these other 
people who never farmed in their lives, but have always thought that 
thev would like to farm. Do you see what I mean ! 

Mr. Davis. Absolutely. Absolutely true. But in considering the 
large project of the Central Valley of California, every citizen of Cali- 
fornia is affected because we are increasing the value of the land by 
many hundreds of percent and we are building industries and we are 
building factories. We are taking care of the mines and we are doing 
all that sort of thing, so every citizen is really interested as well as 
the farmer. 

Senator Ectox. Indirectly : yes. 

Air. Seiilmeyer. I would like to ask Mr. Davis a question. 

You will remember that Mr. Davis is executive secretary of the Cen- 
tral Valley project conference which is an organization made up of 
some hundred different groups. When parties were started out. you 
recall. Mr. Davis, that I asked you to have someone circulating the 
petition to take a definite area, not any particular size, of all farm 
people and contact every farmer in that area. 

Mr. Davis. That is right. 

Mr. Seiilmeyeii. Will you kindly tell the committee the result of 
that canvass and the number of farmers that were contacted I 

Mr. Davis. If this is the correct petition, which I think it is — I just 
took that at random — but anyway that man who circulated those 
petitions covered Kingsburg, Calif., and it is the data that I just gave 
you — all excepting 4 out of 296 on a certain block signed the petition. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. A certain rural block. 

Mr. Davis. A certain rural block. 

Senator Ecton. Supplementing my other statement. Mr. Davis, the 
reason I mention this fact about the signers of these petitions. Mr. Sehl- 
meyer. is that the argument is that the farmers in that valley feel that 
there is not enough water to irrigate the whole district satisfactorily. 

If these petitions are representative of actual farmers, it will have 
more weight because it is those farmers who should know, or at least 
they are entitled to have an opinion as to whether there would be 
enough water to irrigate the valley. 

I want you to get the difference. Actual farmers are in a 
better position to understand the amount of water required and 
whether there is enough, and whether sufficient water will be available, 
much more so than outsiders who may be more or less directly or 
indirectly affected. 

I would like to know how the farmers that you are acquainted with, 
and how you feel about this. 

Mr. Davis. Mr. Chairman, under the present set-up of the Central 
Valley project or projects, there would not be enough water to supply 
all of the land; however, the ultimate conclusion, that is. ultimate 
development by the Reclamation Bureau would supply enough water 
for these lands, but that is in the future — 15 or 20 years — or if we Cali- 
fornians stick together. 100 percent, may be 100 years because the 
Congress of the United States is not going to be confused by us asking 
mething and condemning something on the other hand. 

Senator Ecton. Let us take a short recess at this point. 

(At 3 : 45 p. m. a short recess was taken.) 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 269 

Senator Ecton. I have an apology to make to you, Mr. Davis, for 
interrupting you, but you may proceed. 

Mr. Davis. All of you gentlemen are here to pass legislation and if 
you have to go, we will excuse you. 

I wish to read into the record at this time one of the headings of 
this petition, and I will say that during the recess I examined this 
.petition and more than 90 percent of the signatures on here are farmers 
or farmers' wives, in California. .You know we have a community 
property law, so they are farmers, too. 

The reason for some signatures of nonfarmers on these petitions, as 
I stated in the beginning, was on the basis of their being interested 
citizens more or less directly affected. 

The petition reads in this manner : 

We the undersigned citizens and taxpayers of the State of California, most 
urgently request : 

1. That in order to conserve all of the available water resources the Central 
Valleys projects in California be developed and administered by the Bureau of 
Reclamation under the coordinated plan of said Bureau. We oppose taking over 
the project by the State of California. 

2. That in order to encourage and promote family-sixed farms, and to bring 
about equitable distribution of the water conserved by the project, the acreage 
limitation be retained in the reclamation law. 

3. That in order to make low-priced power available, that wherever possible 
electric power development be included in the project. 

4. That the project in all its phases be administered by the Bureau of 
Reclamation. 

5. That the Congress of the United States make adequate appropriations avail- 
able to the Bureau of Reclamation for the completion of the project at the earliest 
possible date. 

6. That hearings upon any proposal to change the acreage-limitation clauses of 
the reclamation law be held in California in the area which would be affected 
thereby. 

That is the petition that these people signed and many more would 
have signed if they had had the opportunity. 

Senator Ecton. All the petitions you have there will be admitted at 
this point and attached to the record as an exhibit. 

(The petitions referred to are on file with the committee.) 

Mr. Davis. I jotted down here a few notes to guide me in my talk. 
I have not got to them yet. 

But there are a few things to be remembered : First, that when the 
State engineers found that it was impossible to develop the natural 
resources of California, they appealed to the Government to develop 
the Central Valley under the reclamation law. 

I want to call your attention to the fact that the State of California 
through their Governor and their legislatures and their engineers, 
came to Washington, D. C, and pleaded and begged for the Reclama- 
tion Bureau to come into the State of California and develop some- 
thing that they found out was impossible for them to develop and 
further, that they made a contract with the Reclamation Bureau under 
the law including the 160-acre limitation, to come into California and 
develop the Central Valley of California, not the Central Valley proj- 
ect as you now know it, but the Central Valley of California. 

In the projects as now authorized, because of the tremendous amount 
of money that it would take to complete the project, there is a number, 
only six or eight, of the structures of the proposed development of 
California which were proposed by the State engineers and the Govor- 

62453—47 18 



270 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

nor of California. There are 67 similar projects. So that is the 
reason, and they are all tied so closely together it is impossible to sep- 
arate one from the other, if we are going to go ahead and develop 
the Central Valley of California. 

The 160-acre limitation among the farmers in our State is looked 
at in this way : First, it is based on the same principle as the homestead 
law. The homestead law was enacted in order that colleges, railroads, 
and other people could not receive grants of land that had been bought 
and paid for with the taxpayers' money in excess of the amount they 
should have. So we passed the 160-acre limitation— the homestead 
law. 

At that time, the Congress of the United States saw only the land, 
the grass growing on the land, but as engineers and engineering de- 
veloped and science developed, we found that in the arid West we had 
natural resources such as water falling over the rocks, such as the 
water to irrigate the valley floors and you in Congress here in Wash- 
ington, D. C, passed a reclamation law and in order that the right 
amount of land or the most equitable amount could be distributed to 
the most people of the property developed with the taxpayers' money, 
you placed in it the 160-acre limitation which is sound and just and 
should be adhered to in every sense of the word. 

In hearing the discussions here on this 160-acre limitation and in 
looking at the map there, in Madera County — first, I was impressed 
with the map. I wondered what engineer would allow an irrigation 
district to poke those white spots all up in the middle of the district. 
In examining it just a little eloper there I see that the blue represents 
over 160-acre holdings — where in California our community law al- 
lows 3*20 acres — that would make an entirely different picture on that 
map, if you would put it up on 320 acres that might receive water from 
that project. 

I was in the Madera irrigation district at the time that district was 
formed and we acquired the dam site, the Friant Dam site, when the 
water that is now allotted to the district, right until the water was 
received. I heard the testimony here of the young man yesterday 
about the 2,300 acres up there — 23,000 acres, rather — the statements 
that were made were entirely off the beam. 

That land in that area up above on that corner of the map [indi- 
cating] that you see there is hardpan, I am sure. That hardpan, 
I am sure, is just exactly the same quality that north of Fresno is 
growing figs at $1,000 an acre. There is not a bit of difference, and 
the cost of leveling that land — I just checked — one young fellow that 
came into my area there in the spring, this spring — he had been 
crowded out of the Middle West and he came out there and bought 
20 acres and had it leveled — it cost him $80 to level it. It was not 
any rougher than this land. The prices that they gave you — those 
are in the record yesterday in regard to the amount that 40 acres of 
land would cost to develop there — are erroneous. It is not on the 
beam at all. The value of that land, the difference between the value 
of that land with water on it and the value of that land without water 
is 15 times, I say. It is really 20 times, but 15 times is — — 

Senator Downey. May I interrupt 1 minute? What do you think 
is its present value ? 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 271 

Mr. Davis. The present value of land of that type selling around 
♦our area — it is about $100 an acre. 

Senator Downey. With water on it, it becomes $1,500 ? 

Mr. Davis. That is right; 15 times as much. 

I am making a comparison there in this way. I am talking from 
a production standpoint, not from a land -value standpoint or a real- 
restate standpoint. Here is the idea. When God made the valley 
floor of Central Valley He made it arid in such a way that it took 10 
acres to feed one head of stock. Now, with water on it, in clover, 1 
acre of that land will feed two head of stock. That is the difference. 
You can figure it yourself. Allowing $100 an acre for leveling, it 
would be around 15 times as much, from a production standpoint. I 
do not say whether it is worth what it is selling for or whether it is 
not. But a man can go on that land with water and have 15 times 
as good a chance to make it as without. 

And going down in that Madera irrigation district, and speaking of 
the Arakelian holdings, Mr. Arakelian, it was stated yesterday, had 
bought land because he wanted to grow a certain kind of grapes to 
improve the quality of wine. Mr. Arakelian had the grapes before 
he had the wine or before he had the winery in the most part. I heard 
it is on 320 acres of land he has this vineyard; on that land he has 
Thompsons. If he wanted to improve a certain type of wine, he would 
not plant Thompsons in an area where there are 250,000 acres of 
Thompsons surrounding his property. He would plant a certain 
value. 

The idea is, among all the corporations of the West, the CPC, 
Libby, McNeill & Libby, and Arakelian and Schenley, out there is to 
get enough land in their possession so that they will be able, when this 
slump comes that we talk about, which we hope and pray never comes, 
so that they will be able to say to all these farmers that live around 
about, "We will take your grapes; we do not need them, we have 
enough of our own ; but we will take your grapes if you want to take 
a certain figure for them." That is what the large holdings are for, 
including the Di Giorgio group in the south. 

I talked to a man who is an irrigation district director in Delano- 
Earlimart district just the other day and he says that Di Giorgio Co. 
in that section of his holdings has pumped the water out from under 
his area until it is in a vortex ; the people around him have more water 
than he has and he said that these irrigation district directors had 
consulted with those people and they had decided the best thing they 
could do would be to put the land on that market and help pay for 
distribution system that would have to come in there by the Reclama- 
tion Bureau and by doing so settle up the whole country, otherwise 
they would lose the whole thing. 

I just wanted to call your attention to those things so that you 
would get them in your mind and you could consider them at the 
end of this hearing. 

Another thing I want to mention is that water tables, underground 
water is being controlled. In the Madera irrigation district, for 
instance — and I want to mention, I will mention that because it has 
been used as typical, and it is more or less the same — in the upper 
part of the district on this 23,000 acres that they are speaking of, 



272 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

there is not any sheet water. The water is in streams; it comes 
together. 

I lived there. I lived on one corner of the quarter section that had 
a good well and there was not another well to be found on that 
quarter section because the water is in streams. 

After it comes down, halfway down through the district, you 
see, with the sand strata there, it spreads out through the street and 
there you have sheet water — at the highway. 

If every irrigation district that is putting in enough water gave it 
water on the ground, to irrigate the whole district, it is necessary 
to put in pumps to reuse that water for irrigation. The only reason 
we do not do it in the Kings River watershed is because, we have 
only half enough water to go around. Our little water — we only 
have a half-dozen rocks in Kings River — just a little diversion dam. 
It was told you yesterday that we were getting cheaper water than 
pumped water. In my experience in California in the 40 years that 
I have been there, all of the pumped water cost me at least 100 
percent more than the ditch water. If it was not that way, we would 
not have any ditch water. We would not need it. We would just 
pump. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Davis, if it would not bother you, I would 
like to inquire particularly about that statement. You live in the 
Fresno district, do you not ? 

Mr. Davis. I do. 

Senator Downey. How many acres of land do you have ? 

Mr. Davis. I have 110 acres. 

Senator Downey. And do you pump ? 

Mr. Davis. I irrigate by gravity and pump. 

Senator Downey. Where do you get your gravity water? 

Mr. Davis. Out of King's River. We hare what is known as first 
rights on Kings River. 

Senator Downey. What does that cost you ? 

Mr. Davis. That costs us, I think, $1.98 an acre per year. 

Senator Downey. $1.98 per acre per year. I do not wonder that 
your pumping water is more expensive than that. 

What does your pumping water cost you per acre-foot ? 

Mr. Davis. I cannot tell you exactly ; I sent home to get the exact 
figure on that but it did not arrive today. However, we are in an 
ideal condition because we are just at the right place in the district 
where our pump level is about right, from 15 to 20 feet. When a 
wet cycle comes along it comes up to 10 feet and we are awful squeam- 
ish as to whether it will kill the vines off or not. But then we start 
the pumps and irrigate with pump. The $1.98 figure is not a fair 
amount of water to irrigate the district under. We can irrigate 
our vineyards in wet years not to the best advantage 

Senator Downey. But before we leave the subject, Mr. Davis, what 
does your own pumping water cost you per acre-foot, approximately? 

Mr. I ) \ vis. I do not know. I have not figured it out. Some of these 
engineers can figure it out in a minute. I have a 20-horsepower, 1,400- 
gallon-a-minute outfit; some of these engineers could tell you. I do 
not know exactly what it cost. But it has cost me as high as $7 an 
acre a year for the electric power. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 273 

Senator Downey. For how many acre-feet ? 

Mr. Davis. Per acre per year. Well, the average acre-feet use is 
probably 3 acres; that would be, probably, supplemental, not more 
than a couple of acre-feet because you have half of that water under- 
ground from your gravity water. 

Senator Downey. Well, your pumping charge at 25 feet certainly 
would not be as much as $12 per acre-foot for electricity, would it ! 

Mr. Davis. Well, it has cost me $7 per acre per year and I do not 
know exactly how much I used but I used a supplemental supply which 
was probably a couple of acre-feet. 

Senator Downey. Well, now. let me ask you something else. Did 
I understand you to say that in your own district, the Fresno district, 
there is a serious shortage of water ? 

Mr. Daws. Absolutely, there is only half the district that has been 
developed. I say half : there is a large percent of the district on the 
west side that had exactly the same water right that I have had. Up 
until the last 2 or 3 years they have never endeavored to put water 
on that land. Now it is being developed and they are putting water 
on it, and while we used to have a little over half enough water, now 
we have less than half enough water to water the ground. 

Senator Downey. I thought in the Fresno district you had some- 
times been plagued by water coming too close to the surface. 

Mr. Davis. Not many places. 

Senator Downey. At your own place it is about 25 feet, you say ! 

Mr. Davis. At my place it has been within 10 feet. It is now 
probably 25 feet. 

Senator Downey. Well, now what is the depth of the water on the 
other half of the district that you say is unirrigated i Is that what 
you are telling the committee, that half of the lands in the Fresno 
district are not irrigated because they have not the water \ 

Mr. Davis. Xo : I did not say that. 

Senator Downey. What did you say, Mr. Da vie i 

Mr. Davis. I first said "half," but that is off the record ; but I said 
later, a large percent. That would be maybe 30 or 25 percent of the 
land that has never been irrigated ; not because it has not got the water, 
but when I went there 30 years ago it was what the}- called alkali 
land. The same reasons that you have not got this white down on the 
Madera irrigation district. They thought it would never be any 
account. But now the water table is lowered and that water is being 
developed and it has the same water right I have. 

Senator Downey. You mean the water was too high and caused the 
soil to become alkaline, and now they can wash it out because they are 
getting better water at greater depth or something ? 

Mr. Davis. Xo ; I would not say that. There are many reasons why 
alkali disappears. 

Senator Downey. I understand that there are substantial bodies of 
land that have been alkaline there that have been developed: but I was 
much impressed by the statement you made — contrary to everything 
I have ever heard — that there was a shortage of water in Fresno, 
inasmuch as one-half the property does not have any. 

Xow, I understand, there is plenty of water and the reason this 
25 percent of land is not irrigated is that it is alkaline. 



274 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Davis. I would not say there was plenty. Of course there is 
enough water ; yes. There is not too much water, if you want to say 
that, because there the water table with new development each year, as 
you understand, pumps, new pumps, and less water to cover the land; 
it takes more water each year. So with the same amount of water 
available and more of it used, the percentage is less. 

Senator Downey. Well, yes; I will agree with that. But as a 
matter of fact, generally speaking, over the Fresno district, is the 
water not only about 25 feet down ? 

Mr. Davis. That is true more or less all over the Fresno district. 

Senator Downey. That is what you were talking about, was it not ? 

Mr. Davis. Yes, that is right ; more or less 25 feet of water. How- 
ever, if we did not bring the ditch water in there and build, hold that 
water table up, we would not have the water. The underground water 
that you folks have been talking about is created by gravity water 
brought in and spread. 

Senator Downey. As long as we are on this subject, were a good 
many petitions signed by people in Fresno district, Mr. Davis ? 

Mr. Davis. They were signed in all of the districts from Kern County 
to San Francisco and Sacramento. 

Senator Downey. Including the Fresno district ? 

Mr. Davis. Including the Fresno district. This petition that I just 
examined here; this is the Fresno County group here. We did by 
far the largest percentage in Fresno County. 

Senator Downey. Now, will you verify what Mr. Sehlmeyer said — 
of course I know his statement is correct ; but I would just like to have 
you verify it. First, let me ask you : Did you yourself circulate it ? 

Mr. Davis. I circulated none of them. 

Senator Downey. Then you only know what the people who circu- 
lated them told you? 

Mr. Davis. I had them circulated. I was the head of the division 
that circulated the petitions. 

Senator Downey. Do you believe most of the farmers who signed 
these peitions did it in the belief there would be insufficient water 
in their particular area if the 160-acre limitation were. removed? Is 
that the reason ? 

Mr. Davis. I would not say that. 

Senator Downey. That is what Mr. Sehlmeyer said. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. No ; I referred only to the Isabella on the Kern 
River and the Success Dam on the Tule River. 

Mr. Davis. They signed these petitions first because the 160-acre 
limitation is basically correct. It is a part of the homestead law, 
and they feel that if it is not left in the reclamation law for all intents 
and purposes it is the same as repealing it in the United States ; that 
is the first reason. 

The next reason they signed it 

Senator Downey. Let me understand that. Do you say these people 
signed these petitions believing if the exemption is lifted in the Sacra- 
mento Valley or the San Joaquin it will be lifted all over the United 
States? 

Mr. Davis. For all purposes, it is true. 

Senator Downey. Let me first ask you, do you believe that? 

Mr. Davis. Absolutely. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 275 

Senator Downey. All right. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. I think, Mr. Chairman, that these petition signers 
were actuated — they feel that this bill is just an opening wedge in 
the whole Nation ; but they, too, are actuated by the belief that they 
want the kind of economy where you have home-owning people, where 
you have churches and schools and community life. If you take the 
trouble to visit California in some of these areas outside the immediate 
basin and some parts of it, you can drive for miles and might never see 
a farmhouse; all you can see is Mexican barracks, and that is the 
kind of economy they are afraid of. 

A little later in the testimony, if you will permit it, I would like 
to point out to the committee the utter ruthlessness of some of the 
cooperatives in California who got hold of water, how they have 
withheld it from orchards, how they have got it off from farms. These 
are the things the people are concerned about now. They want this 
water to remain; all excepting this now appropriated in the irriga- 
tion ditches have their water and private corporations have their 
water and we cannot get it back, we know that. But we do not want 
any more of the water that is not appropriated to go into hands 
of private corporations so that it could be controlled to the detri- 
ment of the farmers. I want to put that in as a sidelight to the 
story. 

With your consent, a little later, Mr. Chairman, I would like to 
point out specific instances where the misuse has occurred because 
some years ago water was filed on ; and some of the tragic outlook in 
some areas in our States because of water. 

Senator Ecton. Very well. 

Mr. Davis. I want to mention, inasmuch as it was just mentioned 
yesterday, the Arakelian holdings and the people that work on Arake- 
lian's vineyards ; the 320 acres that I spoke of just a little moment ago ; 
as I passed by their place the other day I notice and will call your 
attention to the fact that it takes about four or five families the year 
'round to take care of 160 acres of that vineyard land and at the time 
the Arakelian holdings — what we call the Bipperton corners — there 
are 30 or 40 houses that are 16 by 24 or in that neighborhood in which 
a family is expected to live. That is one of the things that we are 
hoping we will receive from keeping the 160-acre limitation on the 
land. Not this land that is already developed. We have never asked 
or never expected that this land would be immediately broken up 
unless it became economically beneficial to the holders, but for all of 
the new land or all of the land that has not been developed, we hope 
that by development under reclamation law, we will sustain an econ- 
omy of an average-size farm which is in our valley 26 to 30 or 40 
acres, if you include the intensified farms. Of course, if you take 
an average like most people do and take in those 2,000- or 3,000-acre 
farms, it raises the average to quite an extent but that does not really 
make the picture. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, if I may interrupt with a question. 

Senator Ecton. Senator Downey. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Davis, do I understand you are not opposed, 
that you are not seeking t<he application of the 160-acre limitation to 
the presently developed projects, but to the new land as it is coming in ; 
is that what you said ? 



276 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Davis. We are seeking the application of the 160-acre limitation 
to all projects, either developed or not developed. However, the law 
does not say in any State or in any way that it will break up these 
holdings. It says that it will furnish water only to those 160 acres 
which comply with the law and inasmuch as in the King's River water- 
shed and even in the Madera irrigation district there is only a portion 
of that water that is Reclamation Bureau water, and they have a right 
to all of the water that they did have before, it has practically no effect. 
Inasmuch as the whole Central Valley of California has less than 
10 percent of the people that own over 160 acres of land, all of this 
fol-de-rol is being made for 10 percent. The question is: Does the 
Congress of the United States want to protect 90 percent of the people 
or does it want to protect 10 percent of the people. That is the 
question. 

Senator Dowxey. Mr. Davis, are you of the opinion that as many as 
10 percent of the people live on farms? 

Mr. Davis. Ten percent on farms ? You would have to ask someone 
else. There is more than 10 percent on farms. 

Senator Dowxey. You stated there were only 10 percent on more 
than 160 acres of land. 

Mr. Davis. Ten percent only. Ninety percent of those who own 
land own less than 160 acres. That is the point I make. The 90 
percent own less than 160. I notice on that map there you do not 
mention the number of people who are on that yellow land; you do 
say this is 174 ownerships on the blue, which is 160 acres, but you do 
not mention the number on the yellow land which is many times 174 
ownerships. 

In fact, the people that live down around Roberts Camp and down 
in those little yellow spots, the rest of the land is arid, dry land, just 
like God made it. I drove around it the other day. I was ghastly 
surprised to notice that large acreages of land below the river there 
had never been tilled — still in grade — and they have had an irriga- 
tion district for 30 years. They have done simply nothing but sit there 
and squat. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. I would like to ask Mr. Davis a question. There 
has been considerable discussion around here that the district cannot 
tax within the district for underground water where the district fur- 
nishes surface water and the surface water has a tendency to lift the 
underground water. 

Mr. Davis, in your land in the Fresno irrigation district you have 
one tract on which you pump exclusively, do you not? 

Mr. Davis. That is right. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Do you pay a tax to the district for water on that 
land 9 

Mr. Davis. I do. I have been paying tax on that land and every- 
body pays tax whether he receives water or not. 

Senator Dowxey. Nobody in the district is denied water because 
he has more than 160 acres? 

Mr. Davis. No; because he is denied water for one reason or an- 
other; whether it is 160 acres does not make any difference in his status. 
He is denied water. v 

I have 40 acres here. I have 40 acres here that is denied water 
because it, or rather I, lost the right to get ditches. In other words 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 277 

I cannot bring the ditch in there. It is prohibited. But. altogether 
I do not take water, I am taxed for benefits received. That is what the 
girl in the office told me the other day when I asked her. And that 
is what she said when I asked her why I was being taxed 38 cents an 
acre. She says, for benefits of the water, brought into the district. 
Although you do not get it, you get it from underground water that 
•holds the table up; you pump the water and you get benefits. 

Senator Downey. And you are living in a district that does not 
have the 160-acre limitation. 

Mr. Davis. Xo ; because it is not under reclamation law, but it will 
have the 160-acre limitation if we take the water from the flood control 
dam and another thing I would like to impress on you is that there is 
not one drop of floodwater in the Central Valley of California. You 
have been passing flood control bills and yet you have here not a 
drop of floodwater there. What I mean is that whatever dam is placed 
along those streams to conserve water for irrigation, that every drop 
of that water is needed for irrigation. 

We made a contract with the Reclamation Bureau many years ago. 

Senator Dowx~ey. Mr. Davis. I am interested in what you said. I 
lived at Sacramento for many years when we spent millions of dol- 
lars guarding against flood waters; many times we stood on levees 
watching the rising floodwaters that threatened to wash us out. You 
are telling this committee there are no floodwaters in California? 

Mr. Davis. That is right. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Perhaps I can clarify that. 

Mr. Davis. Because the water is needed for irrigation. There has 
been no flood in Sacramento since Shasta Dam was in and if there 
had been floods since Shasta was in and Lassen — and there are also 
other dams on the tributaries of the Sacramento Eiver — so that there 
is no floodwater; every drop of that water is needed to irrigate the 
valley floor. 

Senator Downey. Put in there to catch the water that otherwise 
would have been floodwater, Mr. Davis ? 

Mr. Davis. Put in there to conserve water or transfer it to the south 
end of the valley that needed water and as a byproduct we have the 
power there that will pump the water down there if Congress allows us. 

I want the committee to understand what I mean by that. Of course, 
a lot of these dams were put up to catch the floodwaters, but we need 
every drop of it and if we place enough dams around those streams, 
and high enough elevation — look at your little map here, high enough 
elevation to conserve the water, there will never be a flood. 

Much of the flood work that has been done down on the lower end 
of the river will be thrown away as soon as the dams are built high 
enough to conserve the water. 

Senator Dowxey. I wish you could convince the very able engineers 
of the Bureau of Reclamation of that. They tell me that the average 
run-off in the Central Valley is about 33,000^000 acre-feet a year ; that 
they are only going to be able to conserve and use 20,000,000 acre-feet 
of that — that is, consumptive use. If you could work out for those 
engineers some economic way of conserving these floodwaters, you 
would have done an unparalleled service to the State of California. 

Mr. Davis. I am not doing this on an engineering basis. But we 
have the picture before them and I am not so sure but what the picture 



278 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

30 years ago was 100 percent different from what it is today. I still 
say, and they can bear me out, that every drop of the water in the valley 
is needed for irrigation and it could be conserved for irrigation, and 
if you study the Keclamation Bureau plan carefully you will find that 
the million acre-feet that falls in the Sacramento Valley floor is figured 
to be picked up in the future and taken over to the San Luis pool and 
used down west of Bakersfield. 

Senator Downey. Far be It from me to argue hydraulics with you 
because I am not an engineer, either, but Bureau of Reclamation engi- 
neers have recently given me these figures, thai there is an average 
run-off in the Central Valley of about 33,000,000 acre-feet; that it is 
possible, with a reasonable economy, to conserve and consume 20,000,- 

000 acre- feet a year ; some of which has to be used for salinity control, 
navigation, power, irrigation, municipal, industrial, and other uses. 
Under such a program the water is sufficient to irrigate the irrigable 
lands of the Central Basin. 

Now. maybe they are wrong, and it is not really pertinent here, but 

1 just thought at least I ought to present the able engineers' viewpoint 
of the Bureau of Reclamation who have studied this problem. 

I am talking about the comprehensive plan that envisages, maybe 
25 or 50 or 100 years from now, the irrigation of all the economically 
irrigable lands in the central basin. They count that, if we can do 
that with 20.000,000 acre-feet and take care of our salinity problem, 
and so on. 

Now, there has been some talk that three or four million acre-feet 
additional might be conserved at a much higher expense and diverted 
south to other places. There has been that discussion. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. That is a very remote prospect. 

Mr. Davis. The water is still needed on the Central Valley floor for 
irrigation, and as the years go by you will hear the cry that there is 
not enough water — not that we have too much. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. I think he meant that we needed the water for 
irrigation. We have had this problem of the States. The Army engi- 
neers advocated flood control. That is particularly true of the river 
which adjoins the Sacramento. Their first advice was a 350,000 acre- 
foot dam there as a flood-control dam. The city of Sacramento and 
our organization and other organizations of that area finally con- 
vinced both— I think the* Army engineers and the Bureau both — that 
1.000,000 feet was required and the Army has now come up to that 
figure, too, as a flood-control measure. Probablv 350,000 would cover 
or control the floods of the American. Senator Downey knows as well 
as I it is a very erratic and swift-flowing stream. The 1,000,000 acre- 
feet will nor only control the floods on the American but will make 
water available for irrigation for several hundred thousand acres 
there on the east side of Sacramento County down through to Gait 
and that section. 

Therefore, what Mr. Davis is saying is that we should never have 
considered building a purely flood-control dam .on that stream when 
a water-conservation dam of practcally three times the capacity would 
not only serve as a flood-control dam but make that water available 
for irrigation and the same thing is true of many other streams in 
California. * 

The Congress saw fit to pass a Flood Control Act and we were 
building conservation dams with flood controls. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 279 

Senator Downey. George, I am very much in agreement with every 
thing you said, of course, but you know we are dependent on what 
an economy-minded Congress may do and what any Congress in the 
future will give us to do these things. We have very bright visions 
out there; and I hope we will deal fairly with the problems as they 
come along. 

. My mind right now is centered on the existing authorized Central 
Valley project. 

Mr. Davis. I want to mention one more thing. Inasmuch as this 
talk has just come up, in view of the vast increase in population in 
the Central Valley of California, all the little towns have dozens of 
homes where the men have spent all of their savings to put into homes 
in developing this valley at this time. You will save thousands of 
those people going on the relief rolls. 

Senator Downey. How ? Will you explain how \ 

Mr. Davis. By furnishing labor, by increasing acreage that is not 
now producing. 

Senator Ecton. You mean putting them directly on the land? 

Mr. Davis. Most of them are. 

Senator Ecton. Or working on these projects? 

Mr. Davis. In both ways. 

I just mentioned a young fellow who bought 20 acres. There are 
those that have bought 10 or 20 acres with savings they made during 
the war. They built little homes. I am somewhat amused by people 
talking about economic unity or economic units, just the same as 
trying to buy the City Bank with 50 cents. A man's first objective is 
a home. If he has an acre and a home, he has enough to start, 
enough to support him partially and he can grow from there. That 
is what I did. I did not have anything. You can build up. You 
cannot start from the top. If you do, you come down. You have to 
start and build up and there are hundreds of thousands of the people 
that came from the Middle West and on account of our climatic con- 
ditions they have settled there ; they have put their live savings into 
homes and they are there and they are going to stay there and unless 
we furnish them either the labor or on public works or a way to make a 
living, why, they will become public charges. 

I just wanted to mention one more thing — on that project it was 
represented here this morning. I wanted to call your attention to 
the fact that those boys said they were 8,000 feet high, that they had 
a 100-day growing season and it is in the same bill with California. 
There is no comparison whatsoever, absolutely none, because we have 
a 12-months growing season. We plant carrots and lettuce and stuff 
of that kind in December and it goes through the year; so there is 
no comparison. 

That is all, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Ecton. Thank yon. Air. Davis. 

Will you call your next witness, Mr. Sehlme}^er. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Our next witness is Mr. Frank Swett, member, 
California Farm Bureau, Alhambra Valley, Calif. Mr. Swett is a 
resident of Contra Costa County. 

He will tell you how many years he has lived down there and his 
present occupation. 

Mr. Swett. 



280 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

STATEMENT OF FRANK SWETT, MEMBER, CALIFORNIA FARM 
BUREAU, ALHAMBRA VALLEY, CALIF. 

Mr. Swett. Ill giving an informal talk to you young fellows — 
because I do not think there is anybody here that has arrived at such 
years of discretion, or indiscretion, as I have — I want to apologize 
for having left my brief up at the Roosevelt Hotel which perhaps is 
all right, too. 

I would like to touch on some things — and as to whether I can 
qualify as a truthful witness or not. well, you can tell by the time I 
get through. 

I have no special interest directly in this project. I am in Contra 
B County and my land is at an elevation of 250 to 600 feet and 
the water cannot be pumped up there economically. We have to 
pray to the Lord to irrigate us. He does it and we have an average 
of 21 inches of rain and our prayers are answered about -± years out 
of five. 

We get by. and the family has made a living for a little while, ever 
since 1882, which I do not think many of you remember much about. 

Many of my ideas go back to the horse-and-buggy days, although I 
am just waking up to mechanized farming. I have heard the argu- 
ment made by many estimable collegiate people that the day of mecha- 
nized farming has come. Well, in some places, yes. Yet. in our little 
valley there are no large holdings. I have a $2*000 tractor and a 82,000 
spray rig and my neighbors have other implements, disks and things, 
and we just kind of swap around and I suppose there is $20,000 worth 
of machinery there and they are or we are not organized under a co- 
operative, but we just get along in a neighborly way and we are little 
fellows and not as combative as some of the big shots are. I will not 
characterize them Hacendados or May Grandes as they do in Mexico. 
The big fellows are very nice fellows and I have been entertained by 
them. I have eaten of their caviar and champagne, and I used to be 
a wine maker. 

Senator Dowxey. Used to be a what ? 

Mr. Swett. A nefarious wine maker. 

Senator Downey. Xo doubt you made very fine wine. 

Mr. Swett. I did the best I could. However. I have been 50 years 
a farmer and I was 18 years manager of the California Pear Growers 
Association, a cooperative that sold to farmers: director of a number 
of other cooperatives, and one year I was pretty busy going around 
some of the Western States because I took a job as chief of the Farm 
Credit Adjustment in region 9 which at that time included New Mex- 
ico and Arizona, and I saw a lot of the problems not only of the big 
farmers but of the little farmers, too. 

So. gradually I have been trying to get educated. 

In another way. I was 6 years chairman of the agricultural section 
of tlu» Commonwealth Club of California. The club has. as a whole, 
4..~>on members. It is divided up into sections and our agricultural 
section has about 1$5 members. We would get together about once a 
month and we argued irrigation and the Central Valley and other 
things year after year. We never came to any agreement because in 
that club it is necessary, just as it is in this committee, to present both 
- of a question, and you cannot get any resolutions through with- 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 281 

out a push-cart vote of over 4,000 members of that club. It has grown. 
It had 100 to start and now it has over 4,000 and I think it has been 
a good influence. 

i am not an economist, but I have certain principles. When I go 
to these meetings where economic theories are proposed, and I did 
not learn it in college, although I was there a little while, I learned 
it listening to Little Buttercup singing in the operetta, H. M. S. Pina- 
fore, and Little Buttercup said something which calls to my mind 
the hearings on this Central Valley a couple of years ago and here. 

She sang [singing], "Things are seldom what they seem, skim milk 
masquerades as cream." While you experienced legislators on this 
committee, I know, can differentiate between skim milk and cream, 
that is all we ask. 

I am a member of the Grange and I am strongly in favor of most 
of the things that the Grange, both California and National, stand for. 

One thing that makes me believe that the Grange is efficient as repre- 
senting the farmers is the fact that they do not let anybody in unless 
he is a farmer and they discuss in their meetings a lot of these questions. 

I am also a member — not a very enthusiastic member — of a large 
so-called farm organization, the California Farm Bureau, and there 
are a lot of good people belonging to that — over 40,000. We put up 
$10 apiece. I put up my $10 because I am an optimist and I hope the 
day will come when I am in the grass roots ; we or they are going to 
discuss policies, governmental and otherwise. At the present time, in 
that organization — and you have heard testimony from them from 
time to time by very able lobbyists — the practice is, well, the State 
convention will pass on these things. We do not know much about 
these things. We have heard talk about them, but the policies out 
in the grass roots are so clouded with the reports of the executive 
secretary, the picnic committee, the home-demonstration agent, the 
peach association, the pear association, the walnut association, and 
somebody who wants to sell insurance that there is not any time to 
discuss policies out in the grass roots and it is a lot more comfortable 
just to abdicate your rights as an American citizen and, well, let George 
do it — not this George, but some other George do it — and it is perhaps 
one of the reasons ; and, of course, another reason I am not enthusiastic 
is this : I am not so highly moral, but I believe in some of the conven- 
tions and when I see some of the big shots of the Farm Bureau riding 
around on the back seat of an automobile, parked with the curtains 
down, with representatives of the Pacific Gas & Electric and other 
electric companies, and representatives of the big shots, why, I just 
wonder ; I should not be suspicious, but I am, though. 

Well, that is all for that. 

Now, as I say, I am an optimist. I want to make my status clear 
because I got in trouble after coming here previously to Washington. 
I do not know whether I should have been incensed or flattered because 
one of the high command in talking to his graduate students of the 
university says : "Frank Swett, he is for that 160-acre limitation ; who 
does he represent? Does the Bureau of Reclamation pay his expenses 
to Washington \ Who hired him ? Nobody goes to Washington 
unless somebody pays their expenses." The only thing I got out of 
that trip to Washington was one glass of very delightful Spanish 
Amontillado sherry down at the Cosmos Club. I do not know who 



282 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

paid for it ; there were seven or eight of us, but it was almost worth 
the trip. I hope to be similarly favored again. 

Senator Downey. It was not diluted, then ? 

Mr. Swett. It was not diluted. I think the Spanish sherry makers 
are pretty good. They are not as wonderful as our friends, Joe Di 
Giorgio, and the gentleman down in the Madera whom I know quite 
well. They perform miracles. You have heard of turning water into 
wine at a marriage. They can turn unlimited quantities of simple 
valley water provided by the taxpayers into sherry and port and 
angelica and all that. But oh, what a difference in the morning if you 
go too heavy on those sweet wines. I like them, too. 

Now, I hope I have qualified that way. 

Now, to my unsophisticated mind, to satisfy the demands of agri- 
cultural big shots, who are all right as persons, as corporation persons 
or independent persons, they want to destroy that 160-acre limit. 

Now, I have always thought that tax money does not come too easily. 
Poor people who perhaps pay $45 or $50 income tax, people who earn 
from $200 to $250 per month— it takes a lot of people to raise $1,000,- 
000. That is mathematical. Somebody else can figure it like you folks 
did on the value of the Di Giorgia acreage down there. But I have 
that halucination that the people receiving benefits and perhaps sub- 
sidies from Uncle Sam ought to do something in return, and the fam- 
ily-sized farmer, sure, he did not pay interest on the 40-year advance 
from the Government. That amounts, in many cases, to about as 
much as the principle. Does he do anything in return ? Well, I think, 
yes. He builds cartridges, and buildings and homes, and communities 
that are provided with clubs and good saloons and churches and 
everything else of that kind. 

Senator Downey. May I interrupt you a moment? I know you 
want to be absolutely fair and honest in this. You say these corpo- 
rations ought to do something in return for what they get. I might 
inform you that the agricultural corporations of California during 
the war years gave almost 90 percent of all of their profits into the 
Federal Treasury by way of the normal income tax, the excess-profits 
tax or the personal taxes; 91 percent of Mr. Di Giorgio's own income 
has gone back to California and the Federal Government ; from now 
on the corporations in California pay at least 38 percent of whatever 
profit they make into the Federal Treasury, so the corporations do pay 
a little. 

Mr. Swett. I agree with you and I hope that Joe had a little left 
over. 

Senator Downey. He had plenty left over, Mr. Swett. 

Mr. Swett. But I also hope that if Joe paid in 91 percent of the 
profits of the corporation that those funds will be expended judiciously 
and carefully and thriftily. 

Senator Downey. Just to keep our record clear, if we want to be 
amusing, why, you are a master at that and I could listen to you for 
hours: but as a matter of fact a very large part of the revenues that 
build these projects that keep our Government going do come in from 
corporation taxes and another large amount does come from the per- 
gonal taxes from people who get dividends from these corporations. 
J am sure you want to be thoroughly honest and just. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 283' 

Mr. Swett. I agree with you. That is why I want to see those 
funds thriftily expended. 

I am not a sob sister or reformer but I do think not only of the 
little fellow but of the middle fellow and I have a lot of friends who 
are big shots, too ; and I think we will have them if they all behave. 

Now, that is considerable talk, is it not. 
• I have certain hopes. I do not presume to advise anybody else. But 
one of my hopes is that Congress is not going to act hastily on this 
160-acre proposition. I think, further, that there are defects in the 
reclamation law. I have not consulted with the people in the Grange 
or the Farm Bureau about it. I have just discussed it with a few 
members of the Commonwealth Club. I think that a limitation of 
160 acres is a good deal like telling a tailor to make a lot of uniform 
suits of one size and one shape, a uniform suit that will fit stream- 
lined men and fat men and long men and short men ; and after listen- 
ing to the problems down in the Tulare Basin where it is flooded, after 
listening to the talk of the Colorado highlands where they have frost 
most every month^ of the year, I have a hope that some day there 
may be a reasonable elasticity in the 160-acre theory. I think that at 
the time it was passed, it was the only thing that could be passed. 
The soils of the United States had not been tested out the way they 
have been by soils experts for many many years ; and I have a hunch, 
it may be absolutely impractical, and maybe it is not, since nothing is 
100-percent practical, that the productive capacity of land should be 
taken into consideration. The soil maps of California show No. 1 
land and No. 2 land. They are both high-class lands. We will sup- 
pose that 160 acres, or 320, if he is married, is the limit on this produc- 
tive land. Some of the best land in the United States of America or 
of the world. That is limited. There is not much of it — about 10,000,- 
000 acres of California land. "Well, that is not so bad and not so 
good, either. Perhaps half the productive capacity, even if irrigated, 
would make a limited area—perhaps double or three times that ; that 
would give the dairymen with irrigated pasture a chance to have a 
home, a family-sized farm and when you get down to No. 4 land, it 
has only 10 percent of productive capacity. If that could be worked 
out practically, I think it would be reasonable. I think we have got 
to have some mechanized farms. I think we have got to have some big 
stock farms that may use more or less irrigation, and maybe that can 
be worked out. 

I do think that while I do not like that I think this thing, if it is 
going to be settled right, ought to have further study and consideration. 

Senator Ecton. Mr. Swett, may I ask what your opinion is 
relative to the Central Valley project, for instance? Do you think 
any farmers or portions of the community there would be greatly 
harmed if these larger farms or farmers were given their propor- 
tionate share of water that is contemplated for the project ? Do you 
think anybody would be especially harmed by receiving their water 
even though they owned more than 160 acres ? 

Mr. Swett. Many of those that I have talked with believe they would 
be. I have not polled the people. 

Senator Ecton. I am asking what is your opinion as a man who has 
thought about these things and taken part in these public discussions, 
what are your conclusions after 8 years experience? 



284 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Swett. I think the harm done might come— I do not say it will 
come ^it might come through an extension of corporation farming. 
There is unlimited cheap money available all over the United States. 
People put it into bonds, and what do you have left? You pay an 
income tax : you have to have a lot of bonds to pay income tax. and I 
think you cannot speculate the way they used to in cats-ancl-dogs 
stocks/ and there is a tendency — I know people in New York and 
San Francisco — there is a pot of gold out in the country, and we are 
going to participate in it. I think indirectly I would be favoring, 
unduly favoring, the big shots. 

Then there is another reason, too, and I know many farmers in 
California, and we, all of us, question the merits of big processing 
corporations, whether they are wineries or canneries, going into the 
farming business. 

Xow, this is not exactly what you would call a jurisdictional dis- 
pute, but the canners years ago bitterly opposed any co-ops going into 
the canning business, and we opposed the canners going into pro- 
duction. 

Xow, both had a right to do what they wanted, but our selfish 
viewpoint was this : That if a cannery had produced a third or half 
its supply of apricots or peaches, they could save when it came time 
to bargain. Xow, they might say Ave have a pretty good supply of our 
own ; we can only pay you so much. It reduced the bargaining power 
of farmers, and so with wine. 

With all due deference to the two big wineries that we are per- 
sonally S} T mpathetic with — and I have heard all the arguments in 
favor of the economic efficiency of the big wineries — heaven help them 
when it comes to surplus, and the big fellows will say : There is the 
California Wine Association which says years ago in Sonoma County 
we control our own winery here. We will give you s7 or S9 a ton; 
and if you do not accept it, why, we will just make our own grapes 
into wine. I think that is one of the — what we call the uncomfor- 
table, and many people say disastrous, line-ups. 

Senator Ectox. Grant that such a fear or feeling is well founded, 
yet the testimony has shown that these men who operate these large 
farms and wineries can keep their possessions intact and operate their 
vineyards and their wineries even though they do not get this water. 
So what have you to gain, granting that your fears are well founded, 
by denying the water on these excess acreages I What do you have to 
gain if you kill this bill ? If they 

Air. Swett. If they keep pumping out the water, that is okay by 
me, but they complain, they keep complaining that the water tables 
drop and that we have pumped it out. Xow. Uncle Sam let me re- 
plenish it and we want it replenished. We might possibly pay back 
the principal over 40 years but we do not want to pay any interest 
on that. They want the benefits of interest exemption that were 
grantecPto the family-sized farmer years and years ago in Theodore 
Koosevelt's time and in subsequent legislation. It does not look quite 
fair to me. 

Senator Ecton. Would you say any harm would be done if these 
large farms came in under the same terms as your small farms? 

Air. Swett. I think that an adjustment should be made. 

Senator Ecton. Why i 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 285 

Mr. Swett. If they came in on the same terms, are they going to 
pay interest on the money ? 

Senator Ecton. Yes ; according to the way I understand your testi- 
mony, the small farmer in paying back his proportion of the assess- 
ment, he pays interest, does he not ? 

Mr. Swett. No ; as I understand the question, no. The Bureau of 
.Reclamation says here, we will furnish some water ; you pay the operat- 
ing expense and we will forget interest if you have 160 acres or less. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, under the reclamation law, the 
Government subsidizes the project by advancing the money which is 
repaid to the Government ordinarily over a 40-year period. That 
has been the pattern without interest. So there is that subsidy in it. 

Senator Ecton. And you are objecting because the others will not 
have to pay interest if they were admitted on equal terms % 

Mr. Swett. Yes, they would be getting an enormous subsidy. 

Senator Ecton. Well, would it not be in the same proportion as 
their productivity or the amount of water that they contracted to 
purchase ? 

Mr. Swett. No, not according to the theory of the reclamation law 
that the interest is indirectly repaid in the building up of communi- 
ties. That is my theory. 

Senator Ecton. I understand your point. Thank you. 

Mr. Swett. That is all. I thank you for your patience. 

Senator Downey. Thank you very much, Mr. Swett. 

Senator Ecton. It is nearly 5 : 30 and we have had quite a long 
day. 

May I ask Mr. Sehlmeyer how many more witnesses you have ? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Four, mostly pretty short. 

Senator Ecton. Does that include yourself ? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. I am going to make just a summary statement, but 
this will include Oliver Carter. 

Senator Ecton. Thank you. 

We stand adjourned until tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock. 

(Whereupon, at 5 : 25 p. m., the hearing was recessed until 2 p. m., 
Thursday, May 8, 1947.) 



62453—47 19 



EXEMPTION OF CEKTAIN PKOJECTS FKOM LAND LIMITA- 
TION PEO VISIONS OF FEDEEAL EECLAMATION LAWS 



THURSDAY, MAY 8, 1947 

United States Senate, 
Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation 

of the Committee on Public Lands, 

Washington, D. O. 

The subcommittee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 2 p. m., with 
Senator Zales N. Ecton presiding. 

Present : Senators Ecton and Downey. 

There were present before the subcommittee: George Sehlmeyer, 
master, California State Grange, Sacramento, Calif.; O. M. Davis, 
executive secretary, Central Valley Project Conference, Kerman, 
Calif. ; Joseph E. Mattos, Jr., State secretary of the Western Coopera- 
tive Dairymen's Union of California; C. A. Talbott, Ceres, Calif.; 
John Luhmann, master of the Weed Patch Grange, Weed Patch, 
Calif.; Oliver Carter, member, California State Senate, Reading, 
Calif.; Germaine Bulcke, president, Local 6, IOWU, San Francisco, 
Calif. ; and Edward Hyatt, executive officer, Water Project Authority 
of the State of California. 

Senator Ecton. The committee will please come to order. 

Senator Downey, you were questioning Mr. Sehlmeyer yesterday 
evening when we recessed ; were you not ? Do you wish to continue ? 

Senator Downey. No ; I have no questions. 

While Mr. Hyatt was testifying, and certain other of the witnesses 
there were certain exhibits introduced. I think that in all, or perhaps 
most of the cases, we formally asked permission of the chairman to 
have them made a part of the record, but in the event that any of the 
exhibits that we meant to introduce were not formally offered, may 
we have the offer made now ? 

Senator Ecton. You mean those resolutions ? 

Senator Downey. What do the exhibits consist of ? 

Mr. Hyatt. These resolutions. 

Senator Downey. I think, Mr. Chairman, you approved all of them 
except about one. I am sure you approved that resolution. The 
record will show. I have several others here. 

Senator Ecton. In any event, these exhibits will be received and 
become a part of the record. 

Senator Downey. And also, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Hyatt has certain 
very large maps which show the basis of his calculations and a sup- 
plemental report on the lands here in the Central Valley. We would 
ask to have those introduced and filed with the clerk of the commit- 
tee. 

287 



288 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Senator Ecton. It will be so ordered. 

Senator Downey. And, Mr. Chairman, answering your question, 
I don't think I have any questions of Mr. Sehlmeyer. He indicated 
that at some later time he would like to testify further. 

Senator Ecton. Do you have any other witnesses, Mr. Sehlmeyer? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Yes. 

Senator Ecton. That you would like to call at this time ? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Mr. Chairman, yesterday Mr. Davis testified and 
Senator Downey asked him a question about the relative cost of 
pumping and surplus water. He replied that he did not have the 
figures, but last night he received a wire from California giving those 
figures. If the Senator would like to repeat his question and call 
Mr. Davis in, and let him just give those figures? 

Senator Downey. I will be very glad to have him present then. 

Senator Ecton. Mr. Davis, will you take the stand, please? 

STATEMENT OF 0. M. DAVIS, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, CENTRAL 
VALLEY PROJECT CONFERENCE, KERMAN, CALIF. 

Mr. Davis. Mr. Chairman, this is in regard to the comparative 
cost of pumping water and gravity water on my farm. I sent a* 
telegram to my son, and my daughter-in-law answered it last night. 
I will give you the report in regard to the pump water as compared 
to ditch water on my farm. The pumping conditions are ideal. I 
have received this telegram from my daughter giving this data : My 
power bill on the 100 acres of land in 1946 was $497.92. By adding 
$200 for interest, depreciation, oil and new allocations made, it makes 
my pump water cost me $697.92. With this amount of water I 
irrigated my 100-acre farm three times. 

My water tax, as I remember it, was $19 per acres. This gave me 
three and a half irrigations of ditch water. 

These figures disclose that my pump water cost me a little more 
than three times as much as my ditch water. That is all I have to say. 

Senator Ecton. Thank you, Mr. Davis. Who is your next witness, 
Mr. Sehlmeyer? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Mi. Joseph Mattos, Jr., who represents the West- 
ern Cooperative Dairymen's Union of California, comprising about 
1,500 dairymen who have their farms in the San Joaquin Valley. 

STATEMENT OF JOSEPH E. MATTOS, JR., STATE SECRETARY, WEST- 
ERN COOPERATIVE DAIRYMEN'S UNION OF CALIFORNIA 

Senator Ecton. Does this organization of yours include all the 
dairymen of California? 

Mr. Mattos. No; just the members of the organization. It is open 
to membership. These that I am representing are signed-up mem- 
bers. We are still in the field working for more members and are get- 
ting them every day. 

My name is J. E. Mattos, Jr. I am State secretary of the Western 
Cooperative Dairymen's Union. I am not going to read a report 
because I am afraid that if I did, being a practical dairyman and 
farmer, the report which might be drawn up might seem somewhat 
academic, and therefore what I am going to say here today is the truth, 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 289 

and the truth is very easity said without being read. So I am not 
going to read a statement. I have a little outline here which I intend 
to follow more or less, and I am not going to dwell on any techni- 
calities, as I am not acquainted with such. 

First, I want to tell you that I might be said to be just a poverty 
farmer and dairyman such as Senator Downey would have said, be- 
cause I only operate 80 acres and have a dairy of 53 cows — something 
like that. 

Senator Downey. Might I interrupt? Why do you say I would 
say you are a poverty dairyman ? 

Mr. Mattos. I think that back in 1944, Senator, or something like 
that, you said it was practically impossible to operate a dairy profit- 
ably, even on 160 acres, and being that I am only operating on half 
that much, naturally I cannot be operating very profitably. 

Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Mattos, I don't believe I said that. If 
I did, I certainly did not express what I had in mind. They have very 
large dairies on almost a few blocks of land in many places in the 
State of California. 

Mr. Mattos. Commercial dairying? 

Senator Downey. Yes. And the area of land is not the determining 
factor at all. I was discussing the figures given by certain represent- 
atives of farm organizations and the Bureau of Reclamation that a 
family sized dairy farm consisted of 18 to 20 cows; that a family 
could make a living out of that dairy, and I stated then, and I state 
now, that in my opinion, subject to your much wider knowledge, that 
the life of a dairyman on such a small dairy is a hard life. If you 
consider that a family sized dairy with 18 or 20 cows provides a good 
living for an American family, I have no argument against it. I 
realize that when you get into a 50-cow dairy you are in a very differ- 
ent position and a very much better position. 

Mr. Mattos. Just a little bit for maybe your benefit, Senator, I 
would say a dairyman is not considered dairyman when he is oper- 
ating a dairy of 18 or 20 cows and solely doing that. He would also 
be doing diversified farming if he was doing that. He would prob- 
ably have 18 or 20 cows and 5 or 10 acres in apricots, 5 or 10 acres in 
peaches, a few grapes. He is not attempting to raise a family. It 
would probably be just a husband and wife. You don't find many 
dairies like that in the San Joanquin Valley. My dairy may not be 
as small as that, and I can give you from the survey taken by our 
organization of 118 of the largest dairies in our organization we find 
an average of about 125 to 130 acres per dairy, operating about 70 to 
80 cows, with an income of about, the last 2 years, with inflated prices, 
I would say, about $30,000 to $40,000, gross income. And let us just 
be conservative about it and take 60 percent for operation, and I think 
you will still find that that is a pretty fair income, and it is not a large 
amount of land, and a very efficient dairy can be operated on that. I 
can speak for myself. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, before Mr. Mattos goes further, 
if I may make a further statement, in view of the fact he quoted me, 
otherwise I would not want to interrupt the witness — Mr. Mattos, as 
you will recall the hearing that we had a few years ago in California 
upon a bill, which would have given the Secretary the right to divide 
the Central Valley project, so far as he could work it out, not into 160- 



290 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

acre tracts, but into such units of 10, 20, 50, 160, or 320 acres, a 
might consider it necessary to support a family in a certain uegr v 
standard described in the bill. That was the purpose of the I: 
the standard fixed by several of the witnesses for what would • 
tute a family-sized farm would be one that would produce in .' 
times $1,500 a year for the work of the proprietor and what 
wife and children might do on it, and including his car' 
They, not I, fixed a family-sized dairy farm — it was not 
of 18 to 20 cows. I do think that is possible ; I have had dmr} 
who led harsh and miserable lives trying to make a living out 
kind of a dairy. 

I have high admiration for you. I know you are absolutely ( 
in this, Mr. Mattos. I don't want you to misunderstand me, 
don't want to misunderstand you. I will not interrupt you ag* 

Mr. Mattos. Speaking for myself, being a small-time oper, 
my life, a little over 2 years ago I ventured to buy a piece of pr 
consisting of 80 acres of land. I had a difficult financial si* 
and so far I think I have done fairly well — not any better tl: 
rest of the fellows, but just fairly well, and I am going to j 
you a thing or two that has taken place on my farm, and I wan. 3 
you the ordinary dairyman in that locality has done more o ^ 
about the same. 

Twelve years ago I bought 80 acres of ground which was very \ 
It had been neglected 'for a long, long time, never had been ] I 
and really was run down. I went in and cleaned up the pi » 
had it leveled. r 

Also, to contradict the statement that was made once befo- \ 
fellow that went from one end of the State to the other on lev 
land, I had 47 acres of land leveled according to stake and gra 
soiled to 24-inch depth, 18-inch disked. The whole thing c 
$2,990. n 

Senator Downey. How many acres was that? f( . r ' I 

Mr. Mattos. Forty-seven acres. In places there I had a 
depth of over Sy 2 feet, a fill of 4 and a hauling distance of 
a quarter of a quarter of a mile in lots of instances. I have h 
land leveled. I have had a well put in with a turbine pump. 

Senator Downey. What depth was the well ? 
. Mr. Mattos. Just about 100 feet. And I might just throw 
right now — if the 160-acre limitation doesn't go in I may hav 
to 300 or 400 in a few years. The water level is droppir i- 

August I started the construction of a grade A barn. 

Senator Downey. Now, Mr. Mattos, I don't want to intern] 
but the statement that you have just made is of utmost relevancy ana 
importance. That statement was that if a 160 limitation does not go 
in, you will have to get down to 300 or 400 feet for water in a year 
or two. 

Mr. Mattos. Yes ; I will refer to that quite soon, Senator. 

Senator Downey. I want you to support that. That is entirely 
relevant, and that is the kind of statement we want. 

Mr. Mattos. I will refer to it quite soon, Senator. I started the 
construction of this grade A barn. Of course, in California we have 
some quite strict Department of Agriculture requirements when you 
build a barn— and Health Department requirements are quite strict — 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 291 

^uie valley when you are going to ship into Los Angeles or San 

ijmciftco, go into the market there. So I had a barn constructed 

;.what we call a "James way." It is a concrete structure. It 

c; ered in and out, white enameled inside and whitewashed out- 

J I have my own cold-storage box included in my dairy house. 

far: '.,all my utensils which come up to every specification required 

cau V department of Agriculture and Health Inspection in the State 

like -ia, and although this might not be quite all paid for, it is 

^ ._ '• jng to the time where I can see myself out. And along 

c hat you will see, if you go through our little community there, 

' farms springing up just like mushrooms on a rainy day, spring- 

m all over that country, and if you go through there you will 

11 8 or 10 houses on every section, maybe 12 houses on every section. 

,' r rally, that indicates that the division of property there is run- 

* "about 60 to 80 acres, 100 to 120, maybe 160 acres, but very few 

a tor Downey. You have no acreage limitation there now, have 
- 

Mattos. That's right. 
lAtor Downey. And this subdivision that is taking place, nat- 
fs I y is without that limitation ? 

an Mattos Oh, yes. Well, it has taken place, but what I am try- 

>, get at, Senator, is the fact that although on the small acreage 
Ci dinary dairyman and farmer is actually getting along, and he is 

no^ S along to the extent that he can go ahead and improve his 
^ n ty, it doesn't take any great acreage to be able to prosper — just 
,. ,ii acreage will do it. 

or Downey. Mr. Chairman, again, if I may — that you may 

rpo • . |tand my position, Mr. Mattos, I have put into the record, tables 

■ wing the average holdings in this great area under this canal, 

cling to the Bureau of Reclamation statement, is only 66 acres, 

v^. Lat of the excess holdings only 500 acres in excess. I make no 

i that a man cannot make a living on 160 acres. As a matter 

. the evidence is here that many parcels of land in California 

• orth $1,000 or $1,500 an acre. That is to say, a man who has 

teres has a piece of property worth $160,000. I make no claim 

v, ou cannot make a living on that. That is not the point here. 

r] -tion is: What good are you going to do by trying to impose 

as . rfeage limitation on any district wnere there is underground 

or . md your excess landowners continue to pump and get the 

an ., ^ound water? 

\ Mattos. I will come to that point then, Senator, 
^a'tor Ectox. Senator, if we might, let us permit Mr. Mattos to 
statVftis case, and then maybe we can determine how relevant it is. 
Senator Downey. I will be very happy to do that. 
Mr. Mattos. The reason, Mr. Chairman, that I went through this 
little explaining here was the fact that I want you to get more or less 
a picture of what our community looks like. And coming to the 
Senator's point, I will say this, that we, the dairymen of that com- 
munity or that section of the valley are upholding the 160-acre limita- 
tion on this ground : I get ditch water for 80 acres. My yearly assess- 
ment cost me from $75 to $90 a year. I irrigate from twice this year. 
I guess, to about four times in 1946, as I have only had about 2 years of 
experience on that place, so that is all I can speak for. 



292 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

I have heard Senator Downey say that in many instances — or most 
instances — the ordinary farmer and dairyman prefers underground 
water to gravity water. I heartily disagree with that statement. 
Irrigating 80 acres for $75 or $90 makes it quite economical irriga- 
tion on the part that I can irrigate about three or four times, or 
twice, as the case will be this year, and my irrigating operations 
for pumping out of the ground will run me about a dollar and a half 
a day to a dollar and a quarter, 24 hours, and I can irrigate approxi- 
mately with my well 5 acres in 24 hours. I haven't got any accurate 
data on that. I didn't think it would be necessary. But I irrigate 
approximately 75 acres of my ranch. 

Senator Ecton. From the well ? 

Mr. Mattos. From the well and ditch, both. That is, my irrigable 
land is about 75 acres. I irrigate about 5 acres in 24 hours, so you 
can figure it out for yourself, about 15 days and nights that I have 
to run my pump in orcler to get over my place, and it amounts to about 
a dollar and a quarter to a dollar and a half a day. It is easily 
figured up, and you can figure it from the 1st of June on for 1947. 

Now, what the dairymen in that locality are trying to be very careful 
about, and the reason why they are upholding the 160-acre limitation, 
is that to the southwest and to the direct south of most of the dairies, 
outside of the Central Valley project plan right now lies an area that 
is going into development. This area that is going into development is 
adjacent to the Tulare Lake, and right now the Tulare Lake operators, 
who are very large operators, are holding a large percentage of the 
water that should go into our irrigation district. It is not their fault ; 
it was their advantage. During the depression dairymen got hard up, 
farmers got hard up for money, and water was always worth a good 
price, and the big operators from the lake took advantage of the situa- 
tion and came in there and bought that water up for a good price, 
and now they have the controlling stock, you might say, on the ditch, 
and therefore the water goes down to them, and we in that little 
farming area there, that district there, are high, wide, and dry. There 
is still a good ditch of water going on down to the big operators on 
the lake. There is the Carl Chamberlain ditch that goes down to the 
east side of our little community, between Tulare and Hanford, that 
runs practically all the time and draws a good head of water. With 
that in mind the dairymen there are trying to picture what will happen 
if there is no limitation. These large operators, who are always will- 
ing and ready, and always too anxious to grasp every bit of water that 
can be gotten, to take it down into the lake area, which is a very highly 
productive area, and which, if the Central Valley project would ever 
go through and flood-control dams be built, I believe could be very 
well divided into small fruit ranches or dairies or any other kind of 
small family-sized farms, because the danger of flood would be elimi- 
nated by the flood-control dam. 

We also have a little trouble in our community there that makes the 
people of the community leery, very cautious, and want the limitation 
very badly. That is a fact that we have one of the largest operators 
in that community, who has gotten now a tract of land consisting of a 
few hundred acres and his intentions are for the common welfare of the 
people in the community in general I would say all right, but he has 
bought this tract of land for himself, with the intention of putting 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 293 

on from 25 to 45 deep wells and having a battery of wells from which 
he will pump water to transport for maybe 10 or 20 miles into another 
parcel of land which he owns now, and I can readily say, and the 
neighbors, the farmers in that community, are really alarmed about 
it, because they know that if such a thing should be done, even our 
drinking-water supply will be depreciated in that area in a short time 
because it is all a downhill slope, and we have an open strata country 
down through there with free-flowing water, and we know what will 
happen, and I was instructed before I left home to touch on that here, 
because it is a very serious situation and very ruthless, and they don't 
take anybody into consideration except themselves. These wells are 
making an average of from 1,500 to 4,000 or 5,000 feet deep, as much 
as they see fit or as is necessary for them to get the water, and the way 
a California well is built and filled — I don't know if you know much 
about that or not, Mr. Chairman ? 

Senator Ecton. No, I do not. 

Mr. Mattos. They make a big hole, maybe a 36-inch hole down in the 
ground there, and they insert maybe a 24-inch casing or a 24-inch 
pipe. Then around that pipe they put a gravel envelope of small rock, 
and that envelope extends from the top to the bottom of the well. The 
casing is generally perforated from, we will say, 150 to 200 feet down, 
according to whatever depth you want to start perforating it, and 
therefore you take water from the very top on down from wherever 
you want to take it on down. If you have a strata at 150 feet you 
perforate at 150 and you perforate from there on down. You have a 
gravel envelope all the way around your casing, so you have a regular 
way for the water to get down. 

So the situation is really serious, as far as this battery of wells going 
into our particular part of the country there — and I say this because 
this particular area just happens to be about 7y 2 to 8 miles from my 
place, the place where I live. 

Senator Ecton. Well, granting that it is a serious situation or might 
develop into a serious situation, Mr. Mattos, what effect would the 
changing of the 160 limitation have on the particular situation? If 
this man pumps water from this other land and runs it out of the 
country, we will say, if he does not come under the reclamation project, 
the Interior Department would have nothing to say about how many 
acres he went into there. 

Mr. Mattos, I am not so sure, but I think this tract of land he has 
just bought comes under the project. 

Senator Ecton. As I understood the testimony here yesterday, even 
if that man is within the project, he still doesn't have to come under 
it and sign up and give a contract. 

Mr. Mattos. That is right, but what I am trying to show, or bring 
forth here, is the fact that the large operators to the south of this 
very rich farming community there in San Joaquin are very ruthless, 
very selfish, no consideration for anybody, out to grasp everything 
they can for themselves, don't take anybody else into consideration, 
and I can honestly say that and back up my statement. That is why 
I would much prefer, Mr. Chairman, that this hearing be held in 
California. We would like to take you out and show you these facts, 
why we are here today. This has all been thrashed out once before, 
and we have taken — Mr. Downey's testimony has been defeated before 



294 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

in California, and that is where I wish we were meeting, because 
there we could not only sit and talk to you, but we would not have to 
sit and talk to you, we could ride around and talk to you and show you 
these things. 

Senator Downey. Mr. Chairman, if you ask me not to interrupt the 
witness I will not, but I just want to say to the chairman that the state- 
ment the witness has made that our testimony was defeated out there 
is just 100 percent incorrect. As a matter of fact, we were consider- 
ing the Bureau of Reclamation bill, and on the basis of that testimony 
every Senator who heard the testimony was against the bill of the 
Bureau of Reclamation; and not only that, but everybody else who 
examined the bill on the basis of this testimony was against it. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. The record clearly shows that at both the Fresno 
hearing and the Hanf ord hearing. 

Senator Downey. The thing that was being considered, Mr. Sehl- 
meyer, was the bill introduced by Senator Hatch for the Bureau of 
Reclamation, and, as a result of the hearing, Senator Hatch voluntarily 
tabled the bill. I don't want to get into any argument and I don't 
want to interrupt the witness, but when he ascribes to me certain state- 
ments or brings me into the testimony in a way that is wholly incorrect, 
I have an inclination to correct it. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. The written record is available of the hearings in 
Fresno, Bakersfield, and Hanford. 

Senator Ecton. You may proceed, Mr. Mattos. 

Mr. Mattos. In view of the fact, Mr. Chairman, that this is going 
on down there now in our community — I mean the act of grabbing, 
getting out and grabbing every possible opportunity to eventually 
smother the small operator — the dairymen there — not only the dairy- 
men but the farmers there in that community — are 100 percent opposed 
to the repeal of the 160-acre limitation. 

As I said before, I speak for a little over 1,500 organized dairymen 
throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Of course, I am thinking mostly 
of my area because that is where I live, but the dairymen I represent 
are from up in Stanislaus County, clear down as far as Tulare and 
Kings County. The dairymen know what it is to be at the mercy of 
the large operators. Back several years ago, before there was any 
cooperative dairy organization organized, we were very much at the 
mercy of the large operator. Then a few of the progressive dairymen 
in that community began to organize cooperative creameries. Today, 
in that community, there are three of the most progressive cooperative 
creameries in the valley, and since there has been established a large 
cooperative distributing agency which has reached into the Middle 
West and is expanding every day. 

So the dairymen there are not putting on too much of a gamble when 
they go into the dairy business. They are pretty well situated. They 
have their own cooperative plan. They have got their own coopera- 
tive distributing agency, and they feel pretty sure of themselves. 

With that thought in mind, Mr. Chairman, that it is the general 
supporter of the people of the United States, the small operator that 
diversifies his time and his farming so that he can give everybody 
a little bit of everything that they would like, and not one big operator 
who concentrates on one certain project, that we want to uphold the 
160-acre limitation and protect the family-sized farm — the family 
farmer. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 295 

I think I will just close with this : That we have heard before from 
one who is considered one of the greatest orators in one of his addresses 
say "government of the people, by the people, and for the people." I 
think that should be taken into consideration — that when you uphold 
the 160-acre limit you are doing it for the majority of the people and 
not just for a selfish few. 

Senator Ecton. Do you base that conclusion as it applies to this 
particular legislation because you feel that the smaller farmer, as you 
term him, would be harmed ? 

Mr. Mattos. Yes, sir. 

Senator Ecton. Or do you feel that way because you think the large 
operator would be given advantages under the Bureau of Eeclamation 
laws, for instance, over the small farmer ? 

Mr. Mattos. Mr. Chairman, I don't think he would be given advan- 
tages. I think he would take them. 

Senator Ecton. Well, that is a rather broad statement. You are 
generalizing there. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Mr. Chairman, it might help some if Mr. Mattos 
would explain the kind of ditch he is on — the ditch company. I think 
it is called the Last Chance. 

Mr. Mattos. That is right, Last Chance. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. I suggest they might change the name to "Slim 
Chance." It is a ditch company where they don't vote as they do in 
some irrigation districts, one person one vote, but where the voting is 
on the amount of water stock held. I think Mr. Mattos can explain 
to you that some of these large operators in years gone by have pur- 
chased enough of that water stock so they can control the ditch. 

Mr. Mattos. That is right. 

Senator Ecton. That, of course, is — from what I know about irriga- 
tion companies — the way that is generally done, the way all water stock 
is voted. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Not in irrigation districts in California. In many 
of those the electors vote, and everybody votes, whether they are land- 
holders or not. 

Senator Ecton. It would depend on how the company was organ- 
ized or formed. I realize that. But I can see where a man is always 
at a disadvantage if he is outvoted. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. That even holds true of officeholders. 

Senator Ecton. That is right. Are there any particular questions 
you wish to ask, Senator Downey ? 

Senator Downey. Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Mattos, you gave some figures here that I did not entirely fol- 
low, as to the cost of your pump water and the cost of your surface 
water. Do I understand you to say that the cost of your pump water 
is about three times the cost of your surface water? 

Mr. Mattos. I didn't say anything about "three times," Senator. 
I told you what it cost. I said I haven't figured it out. I said it cost 
from a dollar and a quarter to a dollar and a half a day, 24 hours. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. How much per acre, Mr. Mattos ? 

Mr. Mattos. I had 75 acres, about 15 days to make the run, to get 
over my ground one time. I didn't figure it out mathematically, but 
I can if you want me to. 

Senator Downey. Have you any idea, Mr. Mattos, as to how much 
your pump water cost you per acre-foot? 



296 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

Mr. Mattos. No, sir; I didn't figure it our per acre-foot, Senator. 
I am not an engineer, and I don't know whether I could figure it out 
on the acre- foot or not. AVhen they drilled my well they told me I 
got 600 gallons per minute. I doiyt know whether that is right or 
wrong. I just took their word for it. 

Senator Downey. Are you under the same general conditions as Mr. 
Davis testified to ? 

Mr. Mattos. No ; I would not think so. That is a different district 
there. 

Senator Downey. Do you know how much it costs you to irrigate an 
acre of land during the season with your surface water ? Or give us 
the total acreage and let us divide it. 

Mr. Mattos. 75 acres. 

Senator Downey. How much is the total cost ? 

Mr.' Mattos. Some years $75 and some years $90 per year. 

Mr. Sehlm eyer. That is surface water ? 

Mr. Mattos. Surface water ; yes. 

Senator Downey. That would be about $1.25 per acre per year for 
your surplus water? 

Mr. Mattos. Yes; about four runs. It should average about four 
runs of water ; four irrigations. 

Senator Downey. But that is the total cost, $90 a year for 75 acres ? 

Mr. Mattos. Yes. 

Senator Downey. That is about $1.25 an acre for surface water. 
I am not disputing the figures at all. I assume that is correct, Mr. 
Mattos, but I have never known any surface water in California in 
my own experience that was that cheap or anywhere near that cheap. 
I congratulate you on it if you get it that cheap, and I assume you do. 

Mr. Mattos. I certainly have. I wish I had brought my assess- 
ment along. 

Senator Downey. I am willing to accept it. How much do you 
figure it costs you per acre for the acres that you irrigate by pump 
water ? 

Mr. Mattos. It is all according to how many times I irrigate, Sen- 
ator. 

Senator Downey. Well, take any assumption you want. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. A gentleman back here figured it out mathemat- 
ically, that it cost him $225 for irrigation when pumping, a 15 days 
run. 

Senator Downey. What is that figure ? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. $225 per irrigation. 

Mr. Mattos. That is not quite right. It would be $22.50 per irri- 
gation. 

Senator Downey. How many irrigations? 

Mr. Mattos. Figuring from when our regular irrigation period 
starts, I would say about the 1st of May, this year, with possibly no 
water after the 1st of June — well, I would have around a month of 
irrigation, 15 days to get around over everything, and I would have 
to turn right around and go all back again. I would be irrigating, 
I imagine, to be conservative, say, 12* days a month for June, July, 
August, September — at least once in October. 

Senator Downey. That would mean four and a half irrigations at 
$22 an irrigation ? 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 297 

Mr. Mattos. No; that would mean about eight irrigations — seven 
to eight irrigations. 

Senator Downey. I want to take your own figures, whatever they 
are. Let us take eight then, $22. 

Mr. Mattos. $22.50. 

Senator Downey. For eight irrigations it would be close to, say, 
$175. 

Mr. Mattos. Yes. 

Senator Downey. Is that for the same 75 acres, the same amount of 
land that you irrigated for $90 ? 

Mr. Mattos. Yes. 

Senator Downey. So that would show, roughly, that your pumping 
water cost you about twice as much as your surface water ? 

Mr. Mattos. That's right. I know what you are getting to — 
pardon me, Senator 

Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Mattos; what I am getting to is, of 
course, perfectly simple. You irrigate an acre of land under that 
very cheap rate that you get, according to you, at $1.25 an acre. 
Under the Bureau of Reclamation contract they charge $3.50 an acre- 
foot, and most of the acreage will take about 3 acre-feet. So, instead 
of costing $1.25 as the surface water cost you, according to your 
statement, it is going to cost the man under the Bureau of Reclama- 
tion $10, roughly, just to pay the Government charges, which are at 
the canal side. Then he has the additional expense of getting it up to 
his land. The Bureau of Reclamation figures it out that it will cost 
the man to get this surface water, about $11 or $12 an acre — I have 
talked to them repeatedly about it — which is 10 times what your sur- 
face water costs, and 2 or 3 times as much as your ground water costs. 

Mr. Mattos. That's right. 

Senator Downey. Is that correct, now ? 

Mr. Mattos. That is right, Senator, but do you take into consider- 
ation your investment in your well and pumping ? 

Senator Downey. Yes. 

Mr. Mattos. Are you taking that into consideration on that $200 a 
year for operating? 

Senator Downey. I am taking your own figures. 

Mr. Mattos. I know. I was showing you my irrigation expense, 
my water expense, what it actually cost me to pump water. What it 
did not take into consideration was depreciation of the $2,000 invest- 
ment. 

Senator Downey. That is not what I am so much interested in. 
Your figures do not present a very happy picture for the Bureau of 
Reclamation, when you show that you can irrigate an acre of land with 
surface water for $1.25. 

Mr. Mattos. I told you, Senator, I was going to tell the truth. I 
didn't bring a paper along so I could read a list out of it, because 
I wouldn't know how to write them. 

Senator Downey. I am not at all denying the correctness of your 
figures, Mr. Mattos; I am assuming they are correct, but you have 
got totally different conditions where you have to pay $10 or $12 to 
irrigate an acre of land under the Bureau of Reclamation contract. 
They are selling water at $3.50 an acre-foot at canal side for the 
Madera and the other projects. It takes about 3 acre-feet. That 



298 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

is $10.50. That is at the canal side, and there are additional charges. 
So that, however much you add to this for your pumping, your pump- 
ing water is substantially less, Mr. Mattos, than the Bureau of Recla- 
mation surface water. Now, I will have engineers, both for the 
Bureau of Reclamation and from our side here, present more exact 
data to the committee on that. So let us leave that point there, Mr. 
Mattos. 

Mr. Mattos. Could I say just a word, Mr. Chairman? I am taking 
into consideration, Senator, not 1947 or 1948; I am not such an old 
man yet, and I hope to live on for a few years more, and I am trying 
to take into consideration over a period of years, and how do I know 
that I will be able to get that water for the next 4 or 5 years for $1.25 
an acre? If I have to drill another well, if my well plays out in 
another year or so, and I have to drill down another well, that will 
cost more money. If I have to put in a bigger pump, there goes 
more money. I am thinking in the future, not in the present. We 
cannot thrive that way. If we did that, there just wouldn't be any- 
thing. People just wouldn't care about living if they didn't live in 
the future. You have to live in the future. I am thinking about my 
children, my grandchildren. I want to preserve something. That 
is why I want to put in the 160- acre limitation. Why should I take 
all the good in the ground now, all the water in the ground, and not 
leave anything to future generations ? We have got to take that into 
consideration. We won't be here forever. 

Senator Downey. We certainly have no disagreement on that. 

Now I will pass to another point. You state your apprehension 
because you say some individuals have come in 4 or 5 miles from your 
property. 

Mr. Mattos. I said 7 or 8. 

Senator Downey. And purchased 400 or 500 acres of land ? 

Mr. Mattos. I think it runs a little bit more than that. 

Senator Downey. Well, whatever it is. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. You are talking about two different things, 
Senator. 

Senator Downey. I am talking about the man who is putting down 
a battery of wells to pump water and take water 20 miles away. Who 
is that man, by the way ? 

Mr. Mattos. Salyer. 

Senator Downey. Have you advised with your lawyer concerning 
what steps you might take ? 

Mr. Mattos. I am going to. 

Senator Downey. If you had, you would not be back here, I think, 
making this statement. Is this man on the same water pool that you 
are, so that his pumping that water out and diverting it to remote 
land will injure you? 

Mr. Mattos. I believe so. 

Senator Downey. Well, Mr. Mattos, one of the well-settled rules 
of law in California, enunciated many times, is that each overlying 
owner of a subterranean pool has a correlative right with every other 
owner over that same pool. Any overlying owner has the right to 
prevent another overlying owner from pumping water out and trans- 
porting it away from that area. If I understand your statement, you 
will have no difficulty. You can go into court and enjoin that man 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 299 

immediately. Any court would give you a decree of injunction on 
just a prima facie showing. You will have no difficulty there. An 
overlying owner has a correlative right with every other overlying 
owner in that same area, and I certainly think that if a condition 
is developing in which someone is going in there trying to make money 
out of the condition you describe by taking that water away I am sure 
the law gives you ample protection. I want to add this : If you allow 
him to do it for a period of 5 years, then the man who is taking water 
20 miles away would have acquired what we call a "prescriptive right" 
to it. You would have the right to file a bill asking for declaratory 
relief in 5 years. Let me say, I am very sure that your lawyer, any 
lawyer, will verify what I have to say, but even if what I say is not 
true, I don't quite see what it has to do with this argument. He 
is not pumping bureau water. He is pumping underground water 
there now. It would be a lamentable and I think a very unjust situa- 
tion that you describe, but what has that got to do with this argument 
we have now, Mr. Mattos ? 

Mr. Mattos. Well, I think it brings forth the attitude that they 
take toward the small operator. First, Senator, I want to thank 
you very much for your legal advice, and I want to tell you also 
that this approach was given me just about 15 hours before I left 
home, just before I left, so I had no time to do anything about it. 
I certainly want to thank you, Senator, and I will take care of it when 
I get back. 

Senator Downey. Do that, Mr. Mattos. I am sure your lawyer 
will verify everything I have said. If you want a written opinion 
from me on that I will be very happy to give it to your lawyer without 
any charge to your association. 

I want you to understand my position, Mr. Mattos. I have the 
very highest respect for you and for your group. You are the very 
finest type of American citizens and I am for you and I want you to 
understand my position. 

I think it is admitted by everybody — to take the Madera district 
again — other districts differ, but just let us discuss Madera — at the 
present time they only have to pump from about 60 feet, and there 
is at present ample water there and will be for many years under 
present conditions for the excess proprietor to continue to pump. He 
has got his water that naturally percolates now. Now here is the 
question, Mr. Mattos, and you ought to help us out by your practical 
experience — if you can show any solution to this I will be very happy 
to consider it — if that overlying owner just sits there and continues 
to pump, then the water is walled in for your smaller farmers that 
comprise about 80 percent of that tract in the Madera. They cease 
to draw on the underground pool. A certain amount of their water 
is not consumed and goes down, additional water is to be used to 
recharge the underground, and your excess owner continues to pump 
the underground water. 

Now, I want to say this : Sometimes when you are excited you may 
make statements that you don't exactly mean. What I have meant 
to say about the Madera is that in my opinion there are some places 
there where the underground water would be more efficient and 
cheaper; there are other sections in the Madera where the surface 
water might be cheaper and more efficient, but I am attempting to 



300 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

sav to you, Mr. Mattos, that I think your program would injure the 
small man, because the excess-property owner can continue to pump 
the underground water and get along perfectly well. Almost that 
whole valley has been developed by underground. 

Now, as Mr. Straus pointed out, to whatever extent any man with an 
acreage of 1,000 or 2,000 acres wants to make technical compliance by 
transfers to relatives, employees, by forming of corporations, he can 
get the surface water. So you put the excess landowner in a position 
where he is able to dictate to the district just what parcels he wants 
underground water, and to what extent he wants surface water. If 
you have any answer to that problem, Mr. Mattos, I hope you will 
in sincerity and good faith tell us about it. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Senator, if I may interpolate here 

Senator Downey. ( interposing) . Mr. Sehlmeyer, if the witness says 
he has no answer to that, let us excuse the witness and let Mr. Sehlmeyer 
testify. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. I am not going to testify. I am going to comment 
on the question. 

Senator Downey. Do you want to ask Mr. Mattos a question? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. No ; I want to ask you a question, Senator. 

Senator Downey. I will be very happy to answer it. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. This is the first time in all my experience that I 
have seen the situation arise where the very large landowner, who 
you say will benefit if he stays out, is the very group that is fighting 
the hardest the California State limitation law. If they are going to 
benefit, why do they oppose taking it off ? 

Senator Downey. I will be glad to have the opportunity to answer 
that, Mr. Sehlmej^er. I don't know a single large property owner 
that I recall that has broached or lobbied me on this bill. I have 
contacted some of them for information. I don't know a single one 
that has approached me. Mr. Arakelian, who is the largest owner in 
the district, has never seen me, has never written me. I don't know 
him. Mr. Sehlmeyer, if you could assume honesty and sincerity in 
somebody else, you might then believe that I am disinterestedly trying 
to protect the small landowner as well as the public interest. I don't 
know a single large landowner that has approached me on this. I don't 
think Mr. Arakelian in Madera knows or cares anything about this 
argument. He has got his underground water. I assume his attorneys 
have told him he can continue pumping it. Why should he worry? 
He has not, so far as I know. He has never communicated with me, 
and I have not had one other of the so-called large owners ever lobby 
or approach me. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Well, Senator, I don't think you have any occasion 
to say that I am accusing you of being the representative of those 
landowners here, but living in California I do know that they are 
interested in taking off this limitation. 

Senator Downey. Why don't you name names? This nebulous 
"big landowner". Who are we talking about ? I don't know who you 
are talking about. Are you talking about the Kern County Land Co. ? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. I think they would like to take it off. 

Senator Downey. I don't know what you base it on. The Bureau 
of Reclamation tells me they have adequate water supply for prac- 
tically all of their irrigable lands. My own independent people tell 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 301 

me that. I communicated with the Kern County Land Co. and they 
say they have adequate water. They don't plan on any water from 
the Bureau ; don't want it. I have had people down there who have 
made an examination, and I don't know who the large landowners 
are that you refer to. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Is it true, Senator, that the Kern County Land 
Co., even though the Isabella Dam is not in it, as the Isabella Dam 
is a Federal project, but the Kern County Land Co. has filed on prac- 
tically — is one of the filers on practically every acre-foot of water 
back of that dam ? 

Senator Downey. I don't know about that. I understand they own 
about 80 percent of the water of Kern River, which has an average 
flow of about 750,000 acre-feet, and according to all my information 
that is adequate for 85 or 90 percent of their irrigable land. That 
is the information I have after 3 or 4 3-ears of patient investigation. 
I have a letter here from Mr. Pigott, stating the whole facts, and 
since this has come up, Mr. Chairman, I want to put it in the record, 
and this may be the appropriate time to put it in. 

Senator Ectox. Do you have it here ! 

Senator Downey. Yes ; I have. I would like to read it and put it 
in the record. I approached Mr. Pigott. He never approached me. 
I have known Mr. Pigott as a young lawyer in Sacramento. I ap- 
proached him. He is not interested in the water from central Cali- 
fornia, from the Central Valley project. 

Senator Ectox. Go ahead and read it, Senator Downey. It might 
throw some light on the question. 

Senator Downey. This is signed by Thomas T. Pigott, president 
of the Kern County Land Co., whom I formerly knew as a young 
lawyer in Sacramento, when we were perhaps more congenial with 
each other than we are now. This is dated May 5, 1947, and reads as 
follows : 

Dear Senator Downey : In connection with the pending bill to repeal the 160- 
acre limitation for the Central Valley project, you have asked me to write you 
a letter about the Kern County Land Co., the largest owner of land in the 
vicinity to be traversed by the Kern-Friant Canal. 

That company is a California corporation with about 8,500 stockholders, most 
of whom live in southern California. 

It owns 374,576 acres of land in Kern County, Calif., of which about 239.100 
acres lie in the valley itself, not including about 32,400 acres in the San Emidio 
front. The rest is rugged and mountainous. 

After deducting rough lands, lands of poor soil, and lands in operating oil- 
fields, the valley lands reasonably suitable for farming total about 137,800 acres. 
This excludes the San Emidio front and the company land in the Arvin-Edison 
district amounting to about 3,000 acres ; also excludes about half its land in the 
Shafter-Wasco district which is alkaline. The rest of the company land is best 
suited for pasture only, and some of it not very good even for that use. 

While opinions may differ as to what constitutes agricultural land, we do not 
regard as agricultural rough areas where the cost of leveling and preparing for 
cultivation is very great, even though the quality of the land may be fair; nor 
lands which could be profitably farmed only in exceptional years, like the present 
year of very high agricultural prices. 

The company is one of the largest cattle outfits in the country. It has large 
desert cow-calf ranches in Oregon, Arizona, and New Mexico with about 25,000 
cows as the nucleus. Its herds aggregate 65,000 to 70,000 head. Yearly it ships 
by trainloads from these ranches about 20,000 calves, old cows, old bulls, and 
culls into California for growing out, fattening, and marketing. When condi- 
tions are good in California, it sometimes brings in cattle from Mexico. Usually 
the company starts the year with about 30,000 head in Kern County. For this 

62453—47 20 



302 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

operation, it requires large areas for pasture, both dry and irrigated, and farm- 
ing lands for alfalfa, barley, and permanent pasture of clovers and grasses. It 
uses most of its land for that purpose. 

Some of its finest farming land (about 17,500 acres) is leased out on shares 
for cotton, potatoes, sugar beets, and other crops and a small part of its grazing 
lands not convenient for company use is leased for cash to neighboring cattle- 
men. With these exceptions, the company pretty thoroughly uses about every- 
thing it has. 

The company Kern River water rights date back to the seventies and amount 
in the aggregate to about three-quarters of the average yearly river flow. The 
only large right not owned or controlled by the company is the so-called second 
point right used by the Buena Vista Water Storage District. The company Kern 
Island right is for 300 second-feet flow the year round and has first priority on 
the river. The second point right is for one-third of the flow remaining after 
the Kern Island right is deducted, .deliverable at second point of measurement 20 
miles or so below Bakersfield without reduction for seepage losses. This second 
point right is only for the 6 months, March to August ; during the other 6 months 
that water falls within the company rights. 

The river has no upstream storage and its yearly discharge varies widely ; from 
187,000 acre-feet in 1924 to 2,519,600 acre-feet in 1916. The average flow for the 
period 1894-1944 was 722,600 acre-feet. The yearly diversions through the com- 
pany canaf systems — which aggregate more than 800 miles in length — averaged 
during the same 51-year period 392,100 acre-feet. 

There is a great underground storage of water below Bakersfield and south 
of the river in the sands and gravels laid down by the river long ago as it moved 
to and fro across its alluvial fan. The ground water level is high. The company 
owns large areas overlying that underground reservoir. North of the river 
the ground water decreases rapidly. And it is in that northern area where the 
bulk of the company's finest farming lands lie and where there is the greatest 
deficiency of irrigation water. 

For years the company has been transferring river water north to correct this 
condition whenever it could be done without adversely affecting the southside 
water supply. Not only have such additional quantities of water been used for 
irrigation in the north area, but during the last 10 years much river water has 
been added to the ground water by the means of seepage ponds. 

It is planned to equalize so far as reasonably possible the water supplies north 
and south of the river by transferring more river water north and to use in its 
stead on the southern lands water pumped from the underground reservoir 
south of the river. 

This will be done, of course, in such a way and to such an extent so as not to 
decrease the useful supply of irrigation water for the area south of the river. 

When completed the northern lands will be irrigated partly by river water 
and partly by pumped water. In carrying out this program, the company has 
already installed 12 wells and pumping plants south of the river and will install 
many more. Altogether, both north and south, 6S pumping installations have 
been made in recent years. When completed an adequate water supply will be 
available for the northern lands of the company. 

By this use of water from the basin underlying the lands south of the river 
the irrigation water available will be greatly increased and the company's 
agricultural land as a whole will then have a better supply of water. All 
its land which might be regarded as agricultural — giving the word quite a liberal 
meaning — will not have a fully adequate irrigation supply, it is true; but the 
great bulk of those lands will have good water service, including all its best 
lands. It is believed that the water service on the 137,800 acres regarded as 
essentially agricultural will be reasonably adequate. 

The company does not plan to purchase water from the company river water 
and even if the ban was removed, the company would much prefer to use its 
own cheaper water. Furthermore, when its plan is completed the company will 
have a good water supply of its own. 

You have asked me whether the company has a long-range policy to sell its 
agricultural lands in small holdings after the water supplies are stabilized. It 
has no such policy. 

The growing out and fattening of 30,000 cattle require the use of the agricultural 
lands now devoted to such purpose. If a substantial amount of that land was 
sold, the cattle operations would have to be curtailed. To make that operation 
profitable in normal times, volume is needed. It must be kept large. It would 
be hard for the company to dispose of much of its agricultural land and still 
stay in the cattle business. 



CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 303 

That objection would not apply to a sale of the 17,500 acres leased to others 
for farming. Those lands might be sold in small parcels except for the fact 
that they lie in a rich oil district and hardly any of them have been adequately 
•explored for oil. Until that is done, the company would not dare sell them. 

These lands are very productive — as fine farming land as any in the country. 
A person seeking to acquire land of that character should have considerable 
financial resources if he expects to make a success of it. 

I hope this gives you satisfactory answers to your. questions. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Mr. Chairman, before we go further 

Mr. Mattos (interposing). Mr. Chairman, I would like to make a 
statement, if I may, to the Senator, or ask him a question, I guess it 
would be. 

Senator, you keep comparing the price of water, surface water, 
pump water, and comparing it with the price of reclamation water. 
Now I am going to ask you a question. I think you can enlighten me 
on this. I might be wrong, but I am under the impression that this 
Central Valley project is a self -liquidating project, and this price that 
you quote now about $10.50, would that not be based upon the first year 
or two ? Wouldn't that cost finally diminish and be self -liquidating ? 

Senator Downey. No, Mr. Mattos. Under the plan of the Bureau 
of Reclamation they never expect to turn the water project over to the 
farmers. They expect to operate as a utility, and these charges will 
be permanent charges, I think at least for 40 years, at the end of 
which time the Bureau then has the option of increasing or diminish- 
ing the charges. That is a new type of contract — the so-called 9 (E) 
contract under the 1939 Reclamation Act. For the first time the 
Bureau of Reclamation, instead of the State of California and the 
landowners will become, if these contracts are made effective, the 
owners of the water. 

And, Mr. Mattos, I might say this, that it is the statement of the 
Bureau of Reclamation that the water in reality costs substantially 
more than this, and that they are assessing at this figure because they 
believe that $3.50 an acre-foot is the maximum amount the farmers 
can pay. The cost of the water is more. 

Mr. Mattos. Not being a legal or technical man, that is why I 
asked you that question, Senator. Thank you. 

Senator Downey. I think the Bureau of Reclamation will verify 
what I say. 

Mr. Mattos. If they do, I will be answered to my full satisfaction. 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Well, Mr. Chairman, before we proceed further, Congressman 
Miller informed me at the start of this morning's session that there 
would be a time limit on our presentation. 

Senator Ecton. That is right. How much more time do you need ? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. I have quite a few witnesses here. We have wit- 
nesses here from California. 

Senator Ecton. How many have you, Mr. Sehlmeyer ? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. Three more, I think. 

Senator Ecton. As long as they are here, and you call them one at a 
time, we will try to let them off as easy as we can. As long as they 
are here, I would like to have them testify. 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. They came 3,000 miles to get here. 

Senator Ecton. Who is your next witness ? 

Mr. Sehlmeyer. The next witness is Mr. C. A. Talbott, California 
farmer, Ceres, Calif. 



304 CERTAIN EXEMPTIONS FROM LAND LIMITATIONS 

STATEMENT OF C. A. TALBOTT, CALIFORNIA FARMER, 
CERES, CALIF. 

Mr. Talbott. I have a lengthy paper written out and after hearing 
Mr. Straus' paper and the man representing the Veterans of Foreign 
Wars, I thought I was just duplicating. He said exactly what I 
was going to say, and before I begin what I have outlined I might 
say something regarding this cost of pump water. 

I think perhaps I had better, o